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  1. #41

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    I saw her skate with COI(?) in Landover sometime in the mid-90s. Her 2a was GINORMOUS.

    I wish she'd been well looked after after Lillehamer. She was an amazing talent who never achieved her full potential.

    She's not underrated so much as just not highly regarded. We all saw her amazing musicality, speed, competitive nerve and presence. But her programs do NOT stand the test of time. Heck, if it wasn't for her dazzling aforementioned qualities, they didn't stand the test of her own time!
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  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    Wasn't the 2nd mark in 1994 an Artistic mark? Not Presentation? They are not the same, not exactly. Baiul excelled at being artistic but I wouldn't say her presentation was as good as some of her closer competitors.
    Under 6.0:

    Technical elements + Skating Skills + Transitions = technical mark
    Performance/Execution + Choreography + Interpretation = presentation mark

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    I saw her skate with COI(?) in Landover sometime in the mid-90s. Her 2a was GINORMOUS.

    I wish she'd been well looked after after Lillehamer. She was an amazing talent who never achieved her full potential.

    She's not underrated so much as just not highly regarded. We all saw her amazing musicality, speed, competitive nerve and presence. But her programs do NOT stand the test of time. Heck, if it wasn't for her dazzling aforementioned qualities, they didn't stand the test of her own time!
    You spoke for me.

    Due to a variety of factors , 1994 made her a "sensation" and seemed to exacerbate problems she likely already had.
    I hope that Oksana has found peace and happiness now.

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    I always get a bit surprised when people say Baiul would have had no chance to be competitive had she stayed in. With her pro level of jumping she never would have been competitive I agree, but how can anyone be sure that is the way she would have gone if she stayed in. I am not saying she would have suddenly become this super jumper landing 7 or 8 triples every program, but it is too hard to say she would have become a disaesterous jumper either. Living the whole new pro lifestyle, not healing properly from a bad knee injury (which she likely would have made different choices on if she were an amateur skater), was what destroyed her most, not just her growth spurt.

    As a pro she did show further improvements artistically. Some of her pro programs were extraordinary.

    It is like the 95-98 field was amazing either. By the time of Nagano Kwan and Lipinski were so far over the others they could have fallen 5 times and still gone gold and silver. This despite that Tara was not even a popular figure in the skating World at the time of her rise, and was heavily critiqued by journalists, fellow coaches and skaters, and even some of the judges. The only time that quad the field was very strong was the 96 Worlds, but dramatically fell off the next season. Had her jumping been somewhat together Baiul might have been the type of skater the judges viewed very favorably against Lipinski. Someone with big powerful jumps (vs Tara's tiny ones and bad flutz) and who had incredible natural artistry (more natural than even Kwan who had to be taught to be a great artist) vs Tara whose artistry never fully sold her many critics. That is assuming she could have potentially built on her 93-94 level of content of course.

    I do know one thing for sure. The judges would have taken ANY elite Senior lady with past Championships behind her who could land about 5 clean triples over Tara in the 97 season. Even Slutskaya who had ghastly artistry then, and ghastly programs that season, was regularly beating Tara with only 4 or 5 triples per program in the fall of 96, before Irina began falling apart even worse and Tara's stock rose further after her win over a meltdown Kwan at U.S Nationals. With Kwan and Slutskaya falling apart, Lu Chen out, and everyone from the top 10 of the 96 Worlds either out or sucking the judges had no choice to lift Tara to new #1, but there was definitely no strong desire to do so.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 09-22-2013 at 12:43 AM.

  5. #45
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    I agree the 95-98 quad wasn't very deep in hindsight, especially 97 and 98 with Chen and Slutskayas stock falling for various reasons. It is one of the big what ifs of skating, could a healthy and inspired Baiul upgrade her difficulty to stay in contention. She may have taken the Witt route from 86-88 if she skated well enough, certainly the judges loved her and would have scored her well if she landed about 5 maybe 6 clean triples. The biggest challenge I think was consistency for her. Outside the top 2 the rest of the field was wide open in Nagano, and Baiul could have been part of that if she kept her skating up through the years.

  6. #46
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    I think alot of people forget how bad the 96-97 season imparticular was though. Lets look at the top 10 finishers from the 96 Worlds from top to bottom:

    1. Kwan- huge slump, her own self touted "coma". Yet she still won most of her events, and didnt finish lower than 2nd in a single one.
    2. Chen- out for season, oh except she did show up at Worlds to take 25th place.
    3. Slutskaya- in major slump as well. Judges loved her and I think they would have elevated her to the top in a heartbeat had she been skating well that season, even though her presentation was in fact much worse than Lipnski's, and she was attempting less technically.
    4. Butyrskaya- didnt do a clean triple lutz in the LP all season. No great competitions, either so so ones or meltdowns (Skate American, Europeans). Yuck programs this year too and her jumps were stiff and tight all year.
    5. Bonaly- out all season except for Europeans where she was like 10th. Major Achilles tendon injury.
    6. Szewcenko- out, ill.
    7. Ito- retired.
    8. Kwiatkowski- totally lost her newfound 96 season consistency. Back to many 2 triple programs.
    9. Vorobieva- badly slumping, the couple events I saw her she did 1 or 2 triples.
    10. Yokoya- done after her 95-96 peak. Her career was almost over at this point.

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primorskaya View Post
    One of the reasons she is diminished, and Tara Lipinski is indeed in the same situation, is that they won their OGMs against beloved ice princesses, disrupting the scenario their fans had written, ie gold for Kerrigan in 94, gold for Kwan in 98. Not saying all of their fans reacted like this, but I'm pretty sure a lot of resentment stems from pulling upsets like this.
    As others have mentioned, Kerrigan was most definitely NOT beloved, and she never fit the role of ice princess. If anything it was Baiul, with her tragic background, that won the hearts of the American public, not Kerrigan.
    What's more is that Baiul's victory was anything but an upset win. She was actually the overwhelming favorite heading into Lillehammer , and Kerrigan had a history of skating poorly under pressure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    As others have mentioned, Kerrigan was most definitely NOT beloved, and she never fit the role of ice princess. If anything it was Baiul, with her tragic background, that won the hearts of the American public, not Kerrigan.
    Why exactly is Kerrigan so unpopular? Because she wasn't people wanted/expected her to be - an "ice princess"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimGOAT View Post
    I am not her biggest fan but Baiul seems way underrated these days. People talk about her like she was some joke who the judges decided to elevate on top for no reason. Well she was a nobody before 93 Europeans. There is no way she was elevated for no reason. She isnt even a Russian, but a Ukranian which doesnt have much political pull in the sport. She must have had something very special to leapfrog a whole field of veterans, even if people dont see it now.

    I am not saying everyone has to agree with all her wins but she wasnt the joke people paint her as.

    I was surprised to see her having a ton of votes in the weakest competition threat either. Facing Kerrigan, Chen, Sato, Bonaly, and Choinaurd, all at or near their best is not weak competition. It was a very deep field even if there wasnt a skater in the top 5 all time in it.
    I'm in the minority I guess. I have always been impressed by Baiul. Imo she deserved to win both her '93 Worlds and '94 Olympic titles. And I"m happy she did. I couldn't stand either Bonaly's skating with her crappy basics or Kerrigan with her crappy demeanor.

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    Although many people are guilty of judging past performances through a COP-tinted lens, I just don't think that's really true in Oksana's case. Figure skating fans have been talking about Baiul's lack of substantive content in her eligible routines (at least her one LP) for years before COP was even drafted.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loves_Shizuka View Post
    Why exactly is Kerrigan so unpopular? Because she wasn't people wanted/expected her to be - an "ice princess"?
    I don't think Kerrigan was ever really popular with skating fans. In the early 90s she was in the shadow of Yamaguchi and Harding in the US. She gained momentum after her Olympic medal and the media spotlight after the whack. Everything she said after the whack was in poor taste to most skating fans (regardless if many feel she should have won in Lillehammer), and her pro career wasn't anything to write home about. In part its the medias fault for portraying her as something she never was or wanted to be IMO.

  12. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by bardtoob View Post
    I think she would have lost her jumps with very little growth.
    Yes. When she won her OGM, Oksana was tiny, about 5' tall, and couldn't have weighed more than 95 lbs. Within two years, Oksana grew 5 inches and gained more than 25 lbs. In part because of this rapid growth spurt, she was having trouble with jumps even on the pro circuit. I doubt she would have achieved more success if she had stayed eligible after '94.

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    I think people say that Baiul had weak competition because the rivalry with Nancy was so hyped, and Nancy was extremely cheesy. So beating Nancy wasn't such an "accomplishment."

    Baiul had great artistry in her SP, this is undeniable. Her LP was definitely hammy. But she had a huge triple lutz. Then she 2-footed the 3toe. It's a mystery why she didn't have a jump combo.

    I also think the "orphan" storyline played in Baiul's favor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loves_Shizuka View Post
    Why exactly is Kerrigan so unpopular? Because she wasn't people wanted/expected her to be - an "ice princess"?
    Well, in my case, I just really didn't care for her skating. She always looked so stiff in her movement and her packaging made no sense. She was one of the most elegantly costumed/well dressed skaters and when she took to the ice you expected her skating to match. Instead, you were made to watch stiff jazzercise to muzak that made no sense for her age or appearance and IMHO she had no real style as a performer. Even her pro routines were nothing to write home about.

    I blame the media for trying to make her into an Ice-Princess, and, to be honest, her off-ice persona never bothered me. I actually found some of Kerrigan's moments to be funny and genuine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loves_Shizuka View Post
    Why exactly is Kerrigan so unpopular? Because she wasn't people wanted/expected her to be - an "ice princess"?
    i just couldnt bear to watch her skate. whatever persona people thought she should or shouldnt have didnt even enter into it.
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    Wasn't the 2nd mark in 1994 an Artistic mark? Not Presentation? They are not the same, not exactly. Baiul excelled at being artistic but I wouldn't say her presentation was as good as some of her closer competitors.
    Her technical ability was nothing to write home about. I actually prefer her professional skating to her amateur. She didn't need big jumps for that.

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by escaflowne9282 View Post
    As others have mentioned, Kerrigan was most definitely NOT beloved, and she never fit the role of ice princess. If anything it was Baiul, with her tragic background, that won the hearts of the American public, not Kerrigan.
    What's more is that Baiul's victory was anything but an upset win. She was actually the overwhelming favorite heading into Lillehammer , and Kerrigan had a history of skating poorly under pressure.
    Genuinely amazed at the reactions to my post! Are all you guys from the US? Because I'm not, and that might explain it. Kerrigan was definitely not bashed/disliked in Europe, commentators kept banging on about how regal and elegant she was, and because of the feud with Harding, who was most definitely portrayed as a bit of a lout, she was the wronged one you had to have symapthy for. French and UK coverage tended to contrast the two and while Harding was respected for he technical achievements, Kerrigan was the sweetheart. I always assumed the US skating public thought the same of her. Well at least before the Olys and her snide pre-podium remarks and the whole Disney fiasco...

    Not so sure about Baiul having been viewed as such a massive favourite, she had pretty good level competitors, as was mentioned in another thread.

    Oh well, glad I gave everyone a laugh at least :
    Touching the void.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Primorskaya View Post
    Genuinely amazed at the reactions to my post! Are all you guys from the US? Because I'm not, and that might explain it. Kerrigan was definitely not bashed/disliked in Europe, commentators kept banging on about how regal and elegant she was, and because of the feud with Harding, who was most definitely portrayed as a bit of a lout, she was the wronged one you had to have symapthy for. French and UK coverage tended to contrast the two and while Harding was respected for he technical achievements, Kerrigan was the sweetheart. I always assumed the US skating public thought the same of her. Well at least before the Olys and her snide pre-podium remarks and the whole Disney fiasco...

    Not so sure about Baiul having been viewed as such a massive favourite, she had pretty good level competitors, as was mentioned in another thread.

    Oh well, glad I gave everyone a laugh at least :
    I sincerely apologize if my response was very blunt, and I realize now that you clearly had very different impression in Europe as to how Kerrigan has been perceived by the US public.

    It's just, considering some of her PR gaffes (i.e. "This is so corny", "She's just going to cry all of her makeup off again", "It's hard to get inspired to skate well, because we get paid the same no matter where we finish" ) plus the general way her skating and performance quality has been viewed over the years, hearing the terms 'beloved ice princess' when applied to Nancy Kerrigan sent me into a fit of giggles.

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    I'm going to present an opposite viewpoint here; as I've mentioned on this board before, the appeal of Oksana pretty much escaped me completely. While she definitely was musical, her flapping around and her two-footed jumps just didn't do it for me as either athletic or artistic achievement. The way the judges ignored her two-footed landings was especially galling. She never should have been in second place after the short program in Lillehammer, meaning she shouldn't have won. I saw Oksana perform several times live in exhibitions, and in every program I saw her skate, I watched her feet, and sure enough, you'd see the free foot brush the ice after at least one triple. I can remember one comment on her skating was that the judges were so entranced by her hands and face, they forgot to watch what her feet were doing. Based on skating skills and performances, she never should have been Olympic or World Champion; not that I had any particular love for Surya Bonaly, but she was cheated out of a World Championship just like Nancy was cheated of an OGM by judges entranced by something other than Oksana's technical skills and jumps.

    Especially in her pro days, I often found her to be a histrionic mess, even when she skated well. I always felt bad for the skater who had to follow her when she would do her "stomach clutching" routine and kneel on the ice for many protracted seconds after she finished her program. I never could figure out if she was in pain, emotionally spent, or just putting on an act to milk the applause. I do agree that her "Swan" SP, despite the 2-foot was an iconic signature piece for her. However, she then beat the poor swan to death, dragging out versions of it at pro competitions and shows that only highlighted how much her skating had deteriorated over time every time she brought it back. I realize Oksana had an extremely hard life, and in the end, Galina really rather used her for her own gain. That said, however, I think Oksana also never transitioned well to adulthood and acted out too many times. If there was ever a young slater who could have benefited from better guiding hands and a therapist, Oksana was that skater. I realize some of my comments here may seem harsh; I've really looked at her skating and tried to like her more as a skater, but I just can't. To me, she was overrated, not underrated.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

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    Oh, she brought tears to my eyes then and she still does. Such spontaneity and musicality in her within the hard technical content. Not that Nancy was not a great skater ( and I don't begrudge her feeling awkward with Disney for a second! I empathize) , but she always seems guided by her program, rather than creating it, like Oksana did. It is a matter of a fraction of a second- and yet it creates a tremendous emotional difference. Nancy reported, Oksana created... and I am sticking to it ( her post- Olympic life is not my concern... I wish she made it in the pros, like Katya Gordeeva. What what is, is)
    Last edited by dinakt; 09-23-2013 at 07:51 PM.
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