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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by David21 View Post
    Being "boring" or "attractive" or "natural artistic" or having the "it-factor"...that all has very little to do with how skaters should be judged by the judges.
    I disagree. Figure skating is what I call a "performance sport" - exhibiting showmanship, connecting to the audience and presenting a relationship between the choreography you are doing and the music you are skating to is all part of the package. When it's done right, you forget that you are watching an athletic event.

  2. #62
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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.
    Goats are really fugly though, aren't they? I mean, they're not the most beautiful creatures on the planet by any stretch. And in any case, Butyrskaya won Worlds three years before the unfugly Slutskaya.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    I agree that looking back, Chen had by far the best programs and skates in 1993. I think her programs did her no justice... Her SP was dreadful, and the LP, while intricate, didn't show off her strengths IMO. Her Claire de Lune the following year showed she was already capable of being incredibly lyrical. I think a softer LP would've benefitted her. The Nausicaa program was a bit heavy and seemed to weigh her down. It almost made her seem a lot older than she was... things that shouldn't have mattered, of course, but hard to believe she was just a year older than the energetic Baiul.
    Yes, Chen really should have had a new SP for the 1993 Worlds. But who knows what difficulties she faced when back home, little more than a child, probably without much money, and with a weak Fed? As for the Nausicaa programme, I agree that it did feel as though she wasn't really mature enough for it in 1993, and didn't know how to make the best of the music. Her marks, though, also reflected the idea that the judges weren't prepared to have a Chinese winner yet. By the time she skated it the next year at Olympics, radiant in her sparkling dress, she interpreted the music with both power and delicacy, and at last the judges met her at least halfway.
    Last edited by orientalplane; 09-09-2013 at 10:49 PM. Reason: To correct KimGOAT's mistake.
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  3. #63
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    Never forget her poor sportsmanship during 1994. Obviously tremendously disappointed but honestly, that kind of forgiveness from the Japanese crowds is more a reflection of their love and respect for the sport than for anything that Surya said or did, before, during or after the medal ceremony.

  4. #64
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    Right. Even Yuka Sato's reaction during and after the ceremony is pretty telling. In her manleywoman interview, said that she wasn't angry or anything that Surya was "ruining her moment" but instead, Sato said she couldn't help but just feel bad for Surya because as an athlete, she know how disappointing not winning can be. Sato said something along the lines that Surya was obviously very upset, and one couldn't help but feel for her. Maybe Sato was super angry at the time and is acting humble now, but I think the fact that she openly said it (and the way she said it in the interview) makes me believe she was sincere about it.
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    Sato said the exact same thing the day of the medal ceremony that she said in the Manley interview!

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6930,2980635

    I don't blame Bonaly for anything though because the viewpoints of her own skating and performance that was causing that behavior was totally right and on the money!

  6. #66
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    I think people are able to separate the two issues. Even if you feel she was right, was her podium behavior appropriate considering there were two other skaters getting medals at the time. Bonaly acted like a spoiled brat, and I'm happy with the invention of Youtube, because people can judge for themselves and see whether it really was close between Bonaly and Sato. I understand her disappointment, especially when her mother feeding things she wants to hear in her ear, but Bonaly seemed to lack enough self-awareness to understand where some of the criticism was coming from. Yes, conforming sucks and one shouldn't have to fit into the generic mold, but then there are things in figure skating that should be respected and one of them is skating skills.
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  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Yes, conforming sucks and one shouldn't have to fit into the generic mold, but then there are things in figure skating that should be respected and one of them is skating skills.
    Yet, that rule of thumb didn't seem to apply to Oksana at the 1993 Worlds or 1994 Olympics. The lack of consistency in how skating back then was judged is truly mind boggling

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    Yet, that rule of thumb didn't seem to apply to Oksana at the 1993 Worlds or 1994 Olympics. The lack of consistency in how skating back then was judged is truly mind boggling
    That's true. I guess for some reason, Baiul was seen as having better skating skills than Bonaly. Even the commentary at the time talked about her "having it all" including, but not limited to speed, flow, edge quality. Sandra Bezek gushed about that. Of course, we now know Oksana didn't even know what a 3-turn was. At least Oksana had her "artistry" and musicality and primadonna antics (taking time to before her skating until the music tells her she's ready) to fall back on (plus big jumps, and the amazing new donut spin). Bonaly didn't have any of that going for her. The perception was that all she had was muscled jumps. However, I do think her spins were quite good but overlooked.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that whatever shortcomings Baiul had as a skater in terms of actual skating skills, they didn't seem as lacking in comparison to Bonay's shortcomings in that area. That may have been the perception anyway. However, if we accept the idea that Baiul was better than Bonaly in that aspect but both were poor at skating skills, then they both did well as Baiul won Worlds and the Olympics while Bonaly medaled at Worlds multiple times, won Euros multiple times, and placed in the top 4 at the Olympics.

    I don't feel bad for Bonaly in 1994 because Sato was lightyears better than her in skating aspects (and her tech was there that night too), but I did think she most likely was robbed in 1993 and definitely in the 1998 SP. That was one of my fave SPs that season.
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  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    Yet, that rule of thumb didn't seem to apply to Oksana at the 1993 Worlds or 1994 Olympics. The lack of consistency in how skating back then was judged is truly mind boggling
    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.

  10. #70
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    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.
    Well Baiul had strong stroking (butt sticking out but whatever) and maintained good speed but she never displayed much change in direction, one footed skating, or much complexity when it comes to edges or steps and instead spent a lot of time on centre ice posing and dancing.

    So it wasn't so much that she demonstrated poor skating skills but she didn't / her programs didn't allow her to display more good skating skills.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    That's true. I guess for some reason, Baiul was seen as having better skating skills than Bonaly. Even the commentary at the time talked about her "having it all" including, but not limited to speed, flow, edge quality. Sandra Bezek gushed about that. Of course, we now know Oksana didn't even know what a 3-turn was. At least Oksana had her "artistry" and musicality and primadonna antics (taking time to before her skating until the music tells her she's ready) to fall back on (plus big jumps, and the amazing new donut spin). Bonaly didn't have any of that going for her. The perception was that all she had was muscled jumps. However, I do think her spins were quite good but overlooked.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that whatever shortcomings Baiul had as a skater in terms of actual skating skills, they didn't seem as lacking in comparison to Bonay's shortcomings in that area. That may have been the perception anyway.
    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. In 1994, Bauil gave a performance that was marginally better than the one she had in Lillehammer, yet still finished second to Bonaly. However, a month later she beat a clean Kerrigan by the skin of her teeth. She also messed up her SP combo in 1994 and finished ahead of a clean Surya, whereas skaters like Chen and Sato, who were considered to have stronger skating skills than both, made the same errors as Oksana and finished lower .
    I enjoyed Bonaly and Bauil immensely, the 1993 ladies podium is my favorite grouping of skaters in any order,and I am very grateful that I don't have to hear the words, Nancy Kerrigan; Olympic Champion ; however, the judging from those years was wildly arbitrary. I can understand Surya would feel fed up; it seemed as though she waited her turn.


    Quote Originally Posted by JJS5056 View Post
    I am genuinely curious- can you name examples from Oksana's programs that demonstrated poor skating skills?
    It's not so much that her skating skills were poor, it's that her construction and skating skills were very lacking. She did nothing but three turns in her programs, had no footwork in her LP, and a very basic footwork sequence in her SP , no MITF other than a brief spiral in her LP. While her edging flow and stroking were stronger than Bonaly's, Bonaly actually managed to do more in terms of transitions, connecting steps and MITF despite her shortcomings. I loved Oksana at the time, and I enjoy her performances still in retrospect, but sadly, her skating really doesn't stand the test of time .

    Oh well, at least she beat Nancy...
    Last edited by escaflowne9282; 09-10-2013 at 05:00 AM.

  12. #72
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    I think we all understand the fed up feeling as well, especially when you consider skaters probably weren't sure what they had to do to win the big one and were getting mixed signals. I just think Bonaly making a fool out of herself on the podium and taking all the attention with her tantrum and crying fit was incredibly immature, unsportsmanlike, and could have been upsetting for the other women on the podium who she took attention away from. That said, it was incredibly entertaining, so I don't know where I "truly" stand on that act, ha ha.

    I always wonder why there was such a discrepancy between the results in Euros and the results at Worlds and the Olympics during that period. Maybe having North American skaters, like Kerrigan really upset the apple cart and the "bloc" or just the judges had to pick which skater should beat Kerrigan...and Baiul just seemed like the better choice. It wouldn't be the first time where we see a skater hierarchy from a domestic or regional competition change (with similar skates by those skaters) once outside competition comes into the equation.

    I do think the Baiul hype and the skating world buzzing about this Ukrainian girl from nowhere who simply dazzled drastically helped Baiul at 1993 Worlds. Maybe she turned it on again in Lillehamar. Or maybe the politick was always to give Bonaly Euros as a consolation (like how GPF can be seen some times) and give Baiul the big prize.
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  13. #73
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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.
    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.

  14. #74
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    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.
    Well, can you blame her with a mother like hers? I do think, however, that Surya liked that her mom fed her such a skewed version of things. I some times wonder if Mama Bonaly was to blame for her lack of self-awareness to improve her skating earlier, or if it was all Surya and Mama Bonaly was just trying to be a good, understanding mother protecting her child from the evils of the federation (which we know are capable of ruining the psyche of skaters). I also wonder if they didn't have some sort of social statement they were trying to promote with all the non-conformity. Those quotes from the newspaper article caseyedwards posted seemed like Bonaly didn't like the idea that she had to change anything about herself to get better results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Well Baiul had strong stroking (butt sticking out but whatever) and maintained good speed but she never displayed much change in direction, one footed skating, or much complexity when it comes to edges or steps and instead spent a lot of time on centre ice posing and dancing.

    So it wasn't so much that she demonstrated poor skating skills but she didn't / her programs didn't allow her to display more good skating skills.
    Agreed about Baiul she wasn't given anything to display in that LP. It was almost like an exhibition program with great speed. She spent more time dancing than actually skating. Of course as a pro she did alot of that too, but did have some pro programs that at least showcased her skating much better (her Meditation program for example). I do think she was capable of alot more, but according to the rules at the time it was obviously enough.

    Yes it doesn't make much sense that Bonaly skating great at worlds, yet also doing the same to win Euros, but the judges just didn't want to give her the world title that year. Baiul also benefitted greatly from the fact that Yamaguchi and Ito retired, Harding was on her way out, Kerrigan and Chouinard bombed, Bonaly being lowballed in Prague from biased former Soviet bloc countries, Sato not having all the jumps or consistency yet, and Chen had poor federation support and was seen as a second tier skater at that time. She came around at exactly the right time and seen as something fresh and exciting on the skating scene.

  16. #76

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    Hmmm back then most skaters did nothing more than 3 turns and mohawks. Only ice dancers did the more complicated footwork. That is coming from a skater I know who used to compete internationally back in the 80s and 90s.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  17. #77
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    1993- OMG...she should have won. That clean opening combination alone...wowzers
    1994- Nah
    1995-Thats a tough one.

    I still think her rogue, i'm going to do this my way attitude cost her tremendously. By the time she reached out to Tarasova for help, it was too late. You cant just ignore the judges and do whatever the hell you want and expect to win. They couldnt have made that clearer to her. If she jumped as strongly in 1993 as she did and STILL didnt win, and STILL didnt change her presentation and basic skating skills, i cant blame a judge for not rewarding her. Midori Ito had questionable presentation however at least she actually stroked and had recognizable step sequences...and crazy jumps lol.

    Surya would have gotten further had she LISTENED!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Hmmm back then most skaters did nothing more than 3 turns and mohawks. Only ice dancers did the more complicated footwork.
    And that's what Bonaly did in her step sequence. So while she had one and Baiul didn't, it really wasn't such a technical leap. Chen displayed much better variety and complexity in her steps and Sato showed GREAT flow. Bonaly had none of that going for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lnt175 View Post
    Yes it doesn't make much sense that Bonaly skating great at worlds, yet also doing the same to win Euros, but the judges just didn't want to give her the world title that year.
    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.

    Anyways, I pretty much agree with the majority of the judges all three years (as I said, I understand giving it to Bonaly in 1993, but also understand Baul or even Chen winning), both on skating and the obligation to send a message. The top skaters had just turned pro and the next in line weren't good enough. What the judges preferred would probably dictate how the next batch of up and comers would focus on. If they gave Bonaly the title in 1993, she would have even less reason to work on her shortcomings. Their treatment of Bonaly from 1993 to 1995 and of Kwan in 1995 probably caused the existence of the epic battle in 1996. If Kwan had medalled in 1995, we may never have seen the 1996 Kwan. It's almost the same reason they didn't give it to Slutskaya until they were left with no choice (Kwan's short program mistake in 2002).
    Last edited by Marco; 09-10-2013 at 08:02 AM.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by arakwafan2006 View Post
    1993- OMG...she should have won.
    1994- Nah
    1995-Thats a tough one.
    Really? 5 big clean triples, a fantastic program with wonderful construction and artistry, on-form spins (rare for her), polished delivery and great basics, vs front loaded jumps including cheated 3/3 and 2footed 3lutz, messy spins and aimlessly wandering on the ice for the whole second half of the program, all done with below average basics, artistry and execution?

    For those who feel it was close or that Bonaly should have won 1995, please do share why you feel that way. I genuinely want to know. Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arakwafan2006 View Post
    I still think her rogue, i'm going to do this my way attitude cost her tremendously. By the time she reached out to Tarasova for help, it was too late. You cant just ignore the judges and do whatever the hell you want and expect to win. They couldnt have made that clearer to her. If she jumped as strongly in 1993 as she did and STILL didnt win, and STILL didnt change her presentation and basic skating skills, i cant blame a judge for not rewarding her. Midori Ito had questionable presentation however at least she actually stroked and had recognizable step sequences...and crazy jumps lol.

    Surya would have gotten further had she LISTENED!!!!
    I agree with this. And I think she should have won in 1993.
    "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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