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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    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.
    ^^^
    THIS!

    I'm glad Baiul beat her in '93, to me Oksana deserved to win not only due to superior artistry but for the mere fact that in between the jumps she could actually skate where as Bonaly could not. I'm glad that someone with such poor basics never won a Worlds or Heaven forbid an Olympics and it makes me ill to think she even came close. Bonaly always looked like she was skating on double runners to me between her muscled jumps. She telegraphed her jumps, you could see them coming a mile away, she had a weird way of stopping, braking, turning and THEN leaping. Those jumps were okay in the air but she had no runout, no proper edgework or technique AT ALL. The only time I ever liked her was when I saw her live in exhibition and she did her famous back walkover. Other than that I was never impressed with her. And oh yes, when she gave her final FU to the international judges at the Olympics. That was cool.
    Last edited by Sasha'sSpins; 09-11-2013 at 12:41 AM.

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Yes, as others have said, her reaction in 1994 was probably as much in reaction to the 93 result as it was to the 94 result. It was a meltdown caused by the cumulative effect of both decisions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    First of all, she must be rather delusional to think the only reason she didn't win was due to rotten judging instead of her own shortcomings. There are skaters who like to just focus on their strengths and there are skaters who like to work hard to fix their weaknesses. Bonaly looked much more like the former. None of Baiul, Sato or Chen was attempting 3/3s during those years but they were all complete packages as skaters - Bonaly never had anything more than jumps but she just kept going for the big tricks, ignoring the music and often changing the programs midway. If she spent some more time working on edges and polishing her programs, she wouldn't like so much like she didn't know what she was doing on the ice most of the time.
    Not really delusional, since she would lose at worlds to skaters she had defeated at Europeans when everyone's delivery was not markedly changed. Also, other skaters who didn't address their shortcomings or even fulfill requirements didn't seem to have that held against them.

    And I hate when people call Baiul a 'complete package.' She could barely do a sit spin and couldn't handle complex programs in competition! Charming, charismatic, speedy, musicality galore, quality of movement to die for, but not a complete package as a competitive skater.
    Keeper of Nathalie Pechelat's bitchface.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    ^^^
    THIS!

    I'm glad Baiul beat her in '93, to me Oksana deserved to win not only due to superior artistry but for the mere fact that in between the jumps she could actually skate where as Bonaly could not. I'm glad that someone with such poor basics never won a Worlds or Heaven forbid an Olympics and it makes me ill to think she even came close. Bonaly always looked like she was skating on double runners to me between her muscled jumps. She telegraphed her jumps, you cold see them coming a mile away, she had a weird way of stopping, braking, turning and THEN leaping. Those jumps were okay in the air but she had no runout, no proper edgework or technique AT ALL. The only time I ever liked her was when I saw her live in exhibition and she did her famous back walkover. Other than that I was never impressed with her. And oh yes, when she gave her final FU to the international judges at the Olympics. That was cool.
    Well, Oksana Baiul has never done any other turn than a 3-turn. I can't believe that someone with such a poor variety of steps won Worlds and Olys.

  4. #84

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    Bonaly could have received the first ordinal at 1993 worlds free skate on the basis of her seniority. That seemed to be a category of merit at that time. It might still be now, but as much today is determined by your reputation with the technical panel.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 09-10-2013 at 04:58 PM.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Not really delusional, since she would lose at worlds to skaters she had defeated at Europeans when everyone's delivery was not markedly changed. Also, other skaters who didn't address their shortcomings or even fulfill requirements didn't seem to have that held against them.
    For one, Baiul fell at Euros and messed up the final 2axel but was much cleaner at Worlds, landing 5 clean triples. But yes, Baiul should have been penalized somewhat for not having certain "required" / "expected" elements in the free. Were there such requirements back in 1993 and 1994? Then again someone brought up the fact that she did them in the short, so it is possible that the judges thought it wasn't like she was totally incapable of doing combination jumps and spins and footwork and therefore didn't penalize her as much as they should have. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, I am saying this possibly happened.

    Bottom line is, between Baiul who had shown that she could do more but didn't do them, and Bonaly who in the judges eyes were a much more inferior skater no matter how much she followed the rules to the letter, I understand why they went with the potential.

    And I hate when people call Baiul a 'complete package.' She could barely do a sit spin and couldn't handle complex programs in competition! Charming, charismatic, speedy, musicality galore, quality of movement to die for, but not a complete package as a competitive skater.
    Complete in the sense that she wasn't significantly and glaringly weak in anything the way Bonaly was. Back in those days no one was really doing any difficult choreography besides Chen, so she wasn't 'lacking'. By the way, Chen's sit spin was much worse.

  6. #86
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    Baiul was an interesting case in that there were so many things lacking in her actual program- jump combinations, variety of basic spins (either simple or difficult variations of them), no footwork sequence, barely a spiral sequence, almost no field moves, or good in between steps, and it was a cheesy and not that well thought out program with cheesetastic music. Yet in her actual abilities as a skater she was great when you think about it. Huge and terrific jumps when she landed them, her best solo jumps often rivaled Hardings in quality and power which none of her "rivals" including Kerrigan or Chen (and certainly not Bonaly) even came close to. Some beautiful spins like her catchfoot spins. Style, personality, ability to hit great positions and have great line, great speed and good running edges. I mean when you think of her just as her abilities as a skater and not how they are all put together. When one thinks of the quality of jumps she does do, the quality of her elements she does do, and her artistic potential and qualities, she is even a much better skater than say Kristi Yamaguchi, although it isnt put together into a whole program anywhere near as well which is why she would probably not come close to Kristi (or a strong Midori, a strong Kwan in later years, etc...) in a head to head competition. She definitely did not fulfill anywhere close to her potential as a skater, but the raw skills were there and far superior to Bonaly.

    So when I think about it more I can actually understand her wins at the 93 Worlds and 94 Olympics more than I originally did, especialy the 93 Worlds. While it wasnt all put together into a long program that well, her ability to do huge quality jumps, to hit great positions, to skate musicality and beautifully, to do some beautiful spins, are far superior to either Bonaly or Kerrigan so much so it can overcome that it wasnt put together to anywhere near her potential. Against a stronger skater it wouldnt be enough, but it makes sense it was enough to win in that weak era. When one thinks of say her Swan Lake program at the 94 Olympics (a program that does showcase her huge potential and abilities as a skater much more), and put her triple lutz from her long program into the short program, and it simply blows away anything Kerrigan or Bonaly could ever do.

  7. #87
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    It also helps that you have people like Tatiana Tarasova saying that Sasha Cohen was one of the most talented skaters since Oksana Baiul in that 2003 Nationals fluff piece. Baiul also had one thing Bonaly would never have and that's Eastern European support from respectable professionals and experts. When you have people know should know what they're talking about waxing poetic about your skating talent, it's hard to argue against it in real life. Fans on the internet, however, is a totally different story.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  8. #88
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    I'm so tired hearing about "Baiul only could do a 3-turn". You guys are looking at 1993-1994 programs with 2013 IJS criticisms. Baiul's 1993 win wasn't controversial at all at the time and her 1994 Olympic win wasn't very controversial either (she beat an American and Scott Hamilton, of all people, did minimal wuzrobbing). This speaks volumes to the fact that the things Baiul didn't/couldn't do like MITF, good footwork, poor program construction, etc didn't matter much AT ALL in this era. Later on in 6.0 and especially today, they matter a hell of a lot more.

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    There is a case for any of Baiul, Chen, or Bonaly winning the 93 Worlds. Probably not Chen since her short program, while clean, was not good enough that year compared to the others. Kielllmann from Germany you could even argue winning the free skate portion but she was 11th in the short.

    Bonaly at the 94 Worlds deserved 5.6 technically and 5.3 in presentation. Sato deserved 5.9, 5.9. She blew away Bonaly that day in everyway. Bonaly had big mistakes and a poor overall performance that day.

    Bonaly's best case is the 95 Worlds. Her skate was good enough for 5.9 technically and 5.8 for presentation. It was her most artistic performance ever and her jumps this time were great and lots of difficulty. Chen I would give 5.7 technically and 5.9 for presentation. Kwan 5.8, 5.8.

    So Bonaly would win the 95 Worlds overall. Maybe but not for sure win in 93. No way winning in 94.

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnt175 View Post
    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.
    No she didn't. She should have been destroyed on the technical mark due to absolutely atrocious basic skating.

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    You sound like Vanessa Riley Ziggy.

  12. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Did you mean 1993? I remember Baiul skated way better at Worlds than at Euros. And in any event she was relatively unkown at Euros, but by ther time Worlds rolled around she was already a reigning European medalist.
    She also had a Tonya Harding like diva do-over moment during the 1993 Euros SP that made her very memorable in the judges eyes, especially since she actually did better the 2nd time around. I actually really liked that SP, which I thought was superior to her Swan Lake program, but years later I realized it was because that music really skates itself.

  13. #93
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    Why did Baiul have better short programs than long programs. Well long program since she only ever had one.

  14. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by olympic View Post
    I personally think she should've won the '93 World Crown. Those were the cleanest, most inspired performances she'd ever given.

    I agree with Judgejudy, because I remember the commentators even from the US at '93 Worlds gushing forever about the heretofore unknown Baiul, her tragic backstory, her presence on the ice, etc.

    Sometimes I wonder though if Baiul won because TPTB didn't think Bonaly in any way deserved a world championship due to her complete inability to fit into the classic Ice Princess box
    Elaine Zayak, Debi Thomas, and Midori Ito didn't fit into the 'Ice Princess' box either. But unlike Bonaly they all could skate between the jumps.

  15. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimGOAT View Post
    I agree it is a shame too bad she accepted the medal. If she had refused to then the silver could have gone to Szewcenko and the bronze to Kiellmann which would have been the right result anyway. Bonaly's sucky skate that night didnt deserve any medal, let alone the gold. Then Bonaly also probably would have been banned from ISU skating forever for refusing to show up for a Worlds medal ceremony, and Bobek and Kwan would have gotten the silver and bronze at next years Worlds, where Bonaly was gifted another silver. No harm, wouldnt be missed, and good riddance. So like you I wish she had just not taken the medal at all.
    ^^^
    THIS! Whole post!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    And now as a judge, there are a number of other factors that I would consider why I still don't think she probably should have won a world title which include skating skills (which were dreadful), the way she used the music and the lack of quality in what she did which would all come into play in the components and presentation side of things. Back then skaters could win events based on their presentation too.
    And THIS!


    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    This thread is rehashed every year and the consensus is almost the same: 1993 was her best shot, 1994 was not even close (in favor of Sato), and that 1995 could have gone either way, but most feel Chen was a deserving champion.

    When it comes to 1993, I think this must be a case of judging past competitions by standards that just weren't being applied at that time. The triple-triple craze didn't come to the forefront of discussion until Slutskaya came roaring back to form in 2000 to challenge Kwan. Even Lipinski's 3r-3r and 3t-3s were rarely mentioned in the discussion of how she stacked up against Kwan. Looking back now, it is clear that Tara's technical merit was well ahead of Michelle's both years, but especially in Nagano, and yet, the thought at the time was that a clean Kwan had more than enough content to still win. It was Kwan's tentativeness that was, and is, consistently cited as the reason for her loss, not Lipinski's combinations.

    In 1993, very few ladies were even attempting a full set of triples, let alone 7 triples with triple-triple combinations or sequences. It's impossible to now try and guess what value the judges put on going that far to the technical extreme. Also remember that just 1 year prior, the best athletes were throwing triple axels, while the "artist" Yamaguchi was doing 3z-3t. It's very possible they didn't consider something like a 3t-3s sequence all that impressive, which was the most difficult thing Surya attempted in Prague.

    Also, attempts at 7 triples were a fairly new trend. Yes, that became a standard later in the decade and the top ladies were expected to complete 7, with 2 lutzes preferably, but that just wasn't the norm in 1993. So, Oksana, showing the full set of triples, and doing them all better in terms of quality, than Surya, may not have been judged as being all that inferior to Surya.

    This was also a time when the SP was known as the technical program and the professional scene was at its peak with its technical + artistic program format. There were also no "well balanced program guidelines." In any case, while it may have been expected, it might not have been that big of a deal for a LP to be missing spins, combos and footwork. Baiul demonstrated that she could complete those elements in her technical program, whereas her LP showcased her other strengths which were landing the other set of triples and interpreting music. I don't think for a minute that someone as savvy as Zmievskaya would've let her go out there with a program that didn't fit the rules/standards of the time, when she was more than capable of doing all of those elements. I just truly don't think it was that and big of a deal, and the commentary of the events supports that- Bezic mentions the lack of combos (likely in comparison to Bonaly), but we never hear criticism of her spins, the lack of footwork, etc. at any point during her career.
    Best post on the subject!

    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    You're going to love this

    Here is footage of Surya doing figures at the senior level at 1989 Euros captured on video because VANESSA RILEY DID NOT LIKE HER COSTUME

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...CupWBess#t=154
    Too bad Surya didn't do figures long enough to teach her how to skate or use edges!

    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    I am genuinely curious- can you name examples from Oksana's programs that demonstrated poor skating skills?

    Bonaly's running forward across the ice to gather speed, short and jerky stroking, telegraphed jumps, shallow edges and poor runout were clear examples of a lack of mastery over the blade. I fail to see anything close to as jarring an example in Baiul's skating.

    I also disagree that Sato was suddenly judged differently in 1994 than she had been previously. Had she not bombed the short, she would've easily defeated Bonaly in Lillehamer and challenged Chen for bronze. Prior to that, she lacked the full set of triples, but still placed 4th in 1993 with just 4 triples, and she was a World junior champion with respectable showings at major internationals throughout the early 90s. Yuka's skills were always appreciated and rewarded; 1994 Worlds just happened to be one of the only times she skated cleanly with top difficulty.
    Well put!


    Quote Originally Posted by briancoogaert View Post
    Well, Oksana Baiul has never done any other turn than a 3-turn. I can't believe that someone with such a poor variety of steps won Worlds and Olys.
    Please don't confuse 1993 with 2013. If such steps had been truly valued by the judges back then you better bet Baiul's coaches would have seen to it she'd have them. But she didn't need them. In '93-'94 it was enough. And she won. Bonaly and her lack of proper skating skills didn't. Thank goodness and good riddance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    No she didn't. She should have been destroyed on the technical mark due to absolutely atrocious basic skating.
    This - in a nutshell. Imo, in the days of compulsory figures she would have been lucky if she placed top 20 at a Worlds or Olympics (in that portion of the competition) and top 10 or top 15 overall. Midori had far superior edge work and still struggled with the figures competition. I have no doubt that Bonaly would have been murdered by the judges in that segment.

  16. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by alchemy void View Post
    I'm so tired hearing about "Baiul only could do a 3-turn". You guys are looking at 1993-1994 programs with 2013 IJS criticisms. Baiul's 1993 win wasn't controversial at all at the time and her 1994 Olympic win wasn't very controversial either (she beat an American and Scott Hamilton, of all people, did minimal wuzrobbing). This speaks volumes to the fact that the things Baiul didn't/couldn't do like MITF, good footwork, poor program construction, etc didn't matter much AT ALL in this era. Later on in 6.0 and especially today, they matter a hell of a lot more.
    Hmmm ... I admit I could not describe program construction very well in the 6.0 era but I could certainly tell this program was much more interesting than Oksana's.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=polw...e_gdata_player

    Even this 2nd tier Malaguena is significantly better than Oksana's.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c19H...e_gdata_player

    Quite frankly, just about every program from Albertville had better construction.

    ... And Scott Hamilton drooled over anybody he thought he could get to sign with SOI.

    I'm thinking the only thing that made program construction unimportant was the very fact that Surya and Oksana had so much political clout as Europeans while having such poor program construction. It was a "the emperor had no clothes" situation ... perhaps this explains why the judges, freed from the bloc that supported Oksana, were so eager to give 1994 Worlds to Yuka.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 09-11-2013 at 08:54 AM.

  17. #97

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    So how long did Surya work with Frank Carroll? I wish The Skating Lesson had gotten some on Frank's time working with her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    So how long did Surya work with Frank Carroll? I wish The Skating Lesson had gotten some on Frank's time working with her.
    Totally agree. I had forgotten that fact, and thinking about it now, find it kind of shocking. I suppose it may have been during a window of time that Frank may have had "capacity" to take on a top international lady. That, coupled with what was probably the influence of the French federation and the usual bartering influence that coaching one of their skaters entails, could have also been a factor. But more importantly, what a challenge! Frank C is so known for his ability to polish, and when he can do no more, seems to concede. Hearing Frank C's take on this dimension of his decision making would have been fascinating for sure.

  19. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    See, I could understand that as the general judging perception, but then Bonaly beat Baiul at Europeans in both 1993 and 1994. In 1993, they replicated those same performances at worlds and the places decisively switched.
    But the performances were definitely not the same (at least in the LP) I've just gone back and watched all four performances and at Europeans Bonaly had a step out of a triple toe, doubled the loop and she repeated the Lutz without a combination so it didn't count for 4triples. Baiul actually fell on her triple flip, had both her hands down on a double axel (that was more or less a fall) and had no combination. I actually think from a presentation perspective Bonaly was better here at Europeans than at worlds. But at Europeans both skaters had mistakes but Baiul had the more glaring errors with a fall and a nearly fall on two jumps. Arguably the judges wanted to give it to Baiul but she didn't go clean enough.

    Whereas at worlds Bonaly was completely clean with her 7 triples, various combinations, but I don't think she gave as good a performance as Europeans, Baiul went clean with all of her elements with a two foot on the final 2A of her inside axel-2A sequence, so the jusges gave it to her. Personally I'd have given it to Bonaly based on the technical merit. I'd have given Oksana higher presentation marks but still had Bonaly ahead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    She telegraphed her jumps, you could see them coming a mile away,
    Having just rewatched both 1993 performances at Euroepans and Worlds from them both, I don't think you can say this about Bonaly without it applying equally to Baiul - she telegraphed her jumps at least as much Bonaly and she had a way of holding her free leg awkwardly in front and turned out for most of the rink when setting up both the toe-loop and flip and also the entrance to the inside axel. The loop, salchow and lutz were all telegraphed too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    she had a weird way of stopping, braking, turning and THEN leaping.
    This is the weird contradiciton I find about Bonaly's jumps and the allegations that she had no edges. The toe-loop and flip did have really straight set ups that were really flat (like all coaches tell you to do with those jumps) - but she took it very literally - the drop three turn into toe loop was super flat, as was the mohawk into the flip. The lutz was beautiful off a strong outside edge - better than most of the lutzes the ladies put out there now. But the edge jumps were all quite swingy with lots of edge - the sal and loop really came round in a strong curve with plenty of edge, and while the axel had its own funny quirks - it also had a plenty of edge when she stepped onto it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sasha'sSpins View Post
    Those jumps were okay in the air but she had no runout, no proper edgework or technique AT ALL. The only time I ever liked her was when I saw her live in exhibition and she did her famous back walkover. Other than that I was never impressed with her. And oh yes, when she gave her final FU to the international judges at the Olympics. That was cool.
    While Baiul did have better flow over the ice, I don't think from the ankle down, they were so vastly different, above the ankle is where Baiul had it all over Bonaly, her posture (except on cross overs), extension and line (and the fact she actually did things with her body/arms that aknoledged there was music playing) is what made her better than Bonaly. Baiul didn't have great runout on her jumps because most of the time they were saved and/or two footed so while they were clean on one foot there were issues with them

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