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  1. #21
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    Here are some of Tara's pro outings. This was the 99/2000 World Pros in December 1999:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNtGYKNP7iQ

    Not bad, she still could do a triple lutz apparently. I dont think this level of skating would win a World Amateur title even in 1999 though, let alone in 2000, but it is hard to tell what she would be capable of just by a pro performance.

    Here she is at Ice Wars in fall of 1998. A less impressive outing but she was coming off her but she was coming off the first of many injuries:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_RStNIb6rQ

    Here is Tara at the fall 2002 Ice Wars which I believe is one of the last times she ever skated seriously. This is the point I would say her artistry and presentation look really improved, although she absolutely couldnt do any of the difficult jumps anymore by then, but did do a couple of nice easier triples still. I believe she had already had 2 major hip surgeries by that point:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdrUeBVyOwM

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lnt175 View Post
    Agree that none of Tara's wins even at her peak were definitive wins. Without her incredible consistency, which she had in spades, she wouldn't have come back at all, as she would have no chance. Many felt she was a judges favorite, but I don't think that was the case. She had to skate perfectly to have any chance to win gold; that is not the case with Kim. She lost a GP event, as reigning World champ to Hubert. On top of that she lost the LP at 97 worlds, even while going clean, and almost lost the world title as a result. Even her GPF wins, she was only about one mistake to losing both. Her only definitive win was the 97 nats, and thats because Kwan melted down.
    She definitely wasnt a judges favorite. She came up at the right time when the womens field became a huge mess in the 96-97 season. Almost everyone who was top 10 at the 96 Worlds was either out altogether, retired, injured, slumping badly. So a young kid coming up doing some of the most difficult jumps ever, and perfectly skating 7 triple programs everytime couldnt be ignored, especialy after she won U.S Nationals.

    She actually lost all her grand prix meetings with Slutskaya (before the final that year). They kept drawing in the same events, atleast 2 anyway, and Irina was one of those slumping and didnt skate well in those, and still beat Tara who did. I have no doubt with Kwan's problems and Chen's absence, Slutskaya was the one the judges wanted to see ascend to the top of womens skating that year, but except for the LP at Worlds she didnt skate well and so they were left with no choice but to reward Tara. Even as reigning World Champion she still had to skate perfectly to win important competitions, as you said, and remained the underdog to Kwan. She definitely fought for all her victories.

  3. #23
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    This part of her encyclopedia page is especialy interesting:

    Lipinski's professional skating career was hampered by a series of hip injuries. In August 1998, Lipinski suffered a hip injury in practice for Stars on Ice. In September 2000, she underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in her hip.[19][20] She said her hip problem had been misdiagnosed for several years.[21] Lipinski suffered another hip injury in 2002 during a Stars on Ice show in St. Louis, when she fell hard on her right hip during a jump, and then tore muscles around the bruised area the next day.[22]
    Many people have pointed to the repetitive stress of practicing the triple loop combinations Lipinski performed during her competitive days as the primary cause of her hip problems. Lipinski herself has issued contradictory statements about the timing, cause, and severity of her injuries. After her surgery in 2000, she stated in interviews that the real reason she had turned professional was that she had originally incurred the injury to her hip in the summer of 1997 and that she had skated the entire Olympic season in terrible pain,[23][24] contradicting her earlier account of the original injury having occurred in the summer of 1998 rather than in 1997.[20] In a 2010 statement on her web site, Lipinski denied that her hip injury was a factor in her decision to retire or that she suffered particular pain during her amateur career beyond "the norm for any athlete."[25]
    It seems she has 3 different versions of what in fact happened at 3 different times. What is undeniable though is she kept reinjuring her hip badly after the 98 Olympics.

  4. #24

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    She could have made the come back only if she changed her name to Lipinski Tara.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheIronLady View Post
    She could have made the come back only if she changed her name to Lipinski Tara.
    Good one

  6. #26

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    While I agree that injury appears to have ended Tara's competitive career at age 15 I think people are forgetting that she had incredible charisma and presence on the ice, especially on camera. It would have been interesting to see how she could have developed as a performer if she had had a longer career. I think she would have been a force to reckon with in that area even if other skaters managed to supersede her technically.

  7. #27
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    She was not the super dominant skater Yuna is at her peak. It's highly unlikely Tara could have had the same success in subsequent years (winning additional World and Olympic titles). And she wasn't as smart in managing her injuries. Yuna had faced big injuries before, too, to her back in particular, but luckily for her she didn't overtrain like Tara did and ruin her body. I'm sure there's a good reason she's avoided that triple loop.

  8. #28
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    I don't think continuing after 98 or coming back for 2002 was an option for Tara. Her hip was already irreparably damaged and she was lucky to get thru that season.

    I suspect the posters above are right in thinking the USFS felt no great desire or need for her to continue.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susan M View Post
    I don't think continuing after 98 or coming back for 2002 was an option for Tara. Her hip was already irreparably damaged and she was lucky to get thru that season.

    I suspect the posters above are right in thinking the USFS felt no great desire or need for her to continue.
    Hmmm I think the USFSA would have supported Tara continuing strongly if she were willing and able. Besides Kwan they didnt have another top level contender emerge until Hughes in 2001. There wasnt alot of depth initially post Nagano.

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