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  1. #1

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    Retrospective: 1994 World Championships

    Retrospective moves on to the 1994 World Championships.

    The key facts in relation to these championships are:-

    • All of the professionals who had returned for the 1994 Olympics, immediately "re-retired" after the Olympics - Witt, Boitano, Petrenko, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev, and Torvill & Dean. Hence, none of them competed at these World Championships.

    • 1994 Olympic silver medallist, Elvis Stojko, wins his first world title, winning both the technical program and the free program. Named after Elvis Presley, Stojko performed a clean SP to a medley of new wave and dance tunes, landing a 3A+2T combination, 2A, 3Z. An expert in martial arts with a black belt, Stojko performed his free skate to the soundtrack to the film, 'Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.' His only mistake was a stumble and step out on the landing of the second part of a 4T+3T combination. The rest of the program (3Z, 3A+3T combination, 3R, 3A, 3F+2T combination, 3S) was clean.

    • Philippe Candeloro won the silver medal in the men's competition, and Viacheslav Zagorodniuk the bronze. Defending world champion, Kurt Browning, retired after the 1994 Olympics. Surprise 1994 Olympic champion, Alexei Urmanov, was unable to repeat his Olympic form and finished in 4th place.

    • With Oksana Baiul and Nancy Kerrigan retiring after the 1994 Olympics, and Chen Lu out with a stress fracture, the favourites for the ladies title were Surya Bonaly and Yuka Sato. Both skated clean in their SP's, but Yuka Sato's considerably greater presentation skills, artistry, musical interpretation, and choereography, mean't that she won that segment, with Bonaly 2nd. The outcome of the free skate, however, was far closer. Whilst Bonaly's LP incorporated greater technical content, she made mistakes, including a hand down on a 3R. Whilst Sato's program contained less difficulty, it was skated clean apart from one popped jump. The result ultimately therefore came down to the artistic impression mark, with Sato winning by 5 judges to 4 overall (Bonaly winning 8-1 on the technical merit mark, and Sato winning 8-1 on the artistic impression mark). It was at these championships that the very one dimensional jump orientated nature of Bonaly's skating really hurt her most, as this was the closest she ever came to winning a world or Olympic title, and it was her lack of artistry/presentation skills that were the decisive factor in her defeat. Her programs throughout her career were poorly choreographed, she injected little in the way of artistry into her presentation, and there was next to no attempt to interpret the music she was skating to (with her just skating from one jump/technical element to another). In contrast, Yuka Sato's winning FS was beautifully choreographed and presented. That, in conjunction with her far superior ability to interpret the music, engaged the audience from the outset and kept them involved/interested right to the end. The standing ovation she received at the end of her FS, was well deserved. Hence, in winning the LP, Sato won the title, with Bonaly 2nd. Tanja Szewczenko won the bronze.

    • Surya Bonaly behaved appallingly during the medal ceremony. Firstly, she turned up late for the ceremony. She then failed to mount the podium, and when she finally did take her place on the podium, she took her medal off. Thoroughly disgraceful.

    • Michelle Kwan performed at a World Championships for the very first time. After finishing 2nd at U.S. Nationals, she would ordinarily have been selected to take part at the 1994 Olympics. However, as Nancy Kerrigan was unable to take part at U.S. Nationals due to the attack on her, as kerrigan was able to receover in time for the Olympics, she was selected in Kwan's place. With Kerrigan and Harding retiring after the Olympics, however, Kwan was selected to participate at the World Championships with Nicole Bobek. Kwan finished 8th, and Bobek 25th.

    • With Gordeeva & Grinkov and Mishkutenok & Dmitriev re-retiring after the 1994 Olympics, Isabelle Brasseur & Lloyd Eisler went into these championships as the favourites for the world title. They were also the defending world champions. However, Isabelle Brasseur was hampered by a very painful fractured rib. This opened the door for Evgenia Shishkova & Vadim Naumov (who had finished 4th at the 1994 Olympics), who would win both the technical program and the long program to take the title. Brasseur & Eisler took the silver, with Marina Eltsova & Andrei Bushkov finishing 3rd.

    • Oksana Grishuk & Evgeni Platov followed up their Olympic win, by winning their first world title. They won all sections of the competition easily - both compulsory dances, the original dance, and the free dance.



    Here are the videos for the medal winning and other performances:-

    MEN'S

    Gold: Elvis Stojko (Canada)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    Silver: Philippe Candeloro (France)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    Bronze: Viacheslav Zagorodniuk (Ukraine)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    4th: Alexei Urmanov (Russia)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    5th: Éric Millot (France)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    6th: Masakazu Kagiyama (Japan)

    Technical Program

    7th: Scott Davis (USA)

    Free Skate

    8th: Sébastien Britten (Canada)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    10th: Steven Cousins (Great Britain)

    Technical Program, Free Skate




    LADIES

    Gold: Yuka Sato (Japan)

    Technical Program, Free Skate, Medal Ceremony, Medal Ceremony (2nd Copy)

    Silver: Surya Bonaly (France)

    Technical Program, Free Skate, Interview

    Bronze: Tanja Szewczenko (Germany)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    4th: Marina Kielmann (Germany)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    5th: Josée Chouinard (Canada)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    7th: Marie-Pierre Leray (France)

    Free Skate

    8th: Michelle Kwan (USA)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    9th: Susan Humphreys (Canada)

    Technical Program, Free Skate




    PAIRS

    Gold: Evgenia Shishkova / Vadim Naumov (Russia)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    Silver: Isabelle Brasseur / Lloyd Eisler (Canada)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    Bronze: Marina Eltsova / Andrei Bushkov (Russia)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    4th: Mandy Wötzel / Ingo Steuer (Germany)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    5th: Radka Kovaříková / René Novotný (Czech Republic)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    6th: Jenni Meno / Todd Sand (USA)

    Technical Program, Free Skate



    ICE DANCE

    Gold: Oksana Grishuk / Evgeni Platov (Russia)

    CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance

    Silver: Sophie Moniotte / Pascal Lavanchy (France)

    CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance

    Bronze: Susanna Rahkamo / Petri Kokko (Finland)

    CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance

    4th: Irina Romanova / Igor Yaroshenko (Ukraine)

    CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance

    5th: Tatiana Navka / Samvel Gezalian (Belarus)

    Free Dance

    6th: Shae-Lynn Bourne / Victor Kraatz (Canada)

    CD1, CD2, Original Dance, Free Dance
    Last edited by Maofan7; 11-18-2013 at 03:38 AM.

  2. #2
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    I think Bonaly lost the free skates at all of 1993, 1994 and 1995 Worlds on a 4/5 split?

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    This Worlds more than any other was one Bonaly can only blame herself for losing. Had she landed all her jumps cleanly she would have won, regardless of her lack of artistry, basic skating, etc..... She made 2 major mistakes on jumps, and still narrowly lost. It was definitely her best shot. In 1993 she couldn't have skated any better and lost. In 1995 I guess she could have skated better, especialy the SP, but her LP was still very strong there and still lost. Her behavior on the podium was shameful and I would have given her a 2 year ban from the sport for it. Hopefully this is never tolerated in the future again, even in the case of a skater protesting a blatantly wrong result (which this wasn't) in such a manner.

    Stojko was amazing here, and I think that was his best choreographed program ever. Too bad he did not have this skate at the Olympics, as it would have won him the Gold easily I am sure.

    Candelero also had his best ever performance here, and I thought before Stojko skated there was a good shot it would win.

    Urmanov could have easily been given the bronze even with all his mistakes. Zagorodniuk had no flow out of any of his jumps, not very good spins, missed the 2nd triple axel, and his choreography in his LP was rather junorish. I honestly almost feel like Urmanov got gyped a bit, but thought Zagorodniuk deserved the bronze at the 97 and 98 Worlds.

    I thought watching at the time Moniotte & Lavanchy should have won the dance gold after Grischuk's fall but looking back now it was probably correct. As much as I loved M&L's Fred and Ginger, G&P are still the superior team, and their fall was not on an element or anything that important, and they recovered so quickly. It was also a tidier performance than their somewhat sloppy Olympic winning FD, apart from the fall, although still not up to the standards of their outstanding European FD portion winning dance. Moniotte & Lavanchy definitely hit their all time peak this year, and especialy with their Fred and Ginger FD performances at both Olympics and Worlds. They were never at that level again IMO even though they did medal at the 95 Worlds.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 11-18-2013 at 06:59 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I honestly almost feel like Urmanov got gyped a bit
    It almost appeared like he overdrafted on political clout at Lillehammer for that season. It's weird that, whatever held his scores up at Lillehammer was no longer working at Worlds, even though he was already a reigning Olympic Champ then.

    He would dominate in the coming seasons and medal/win all competitions which he entered but would almost fall short at Worlds. What a shame. I adore his 1996/7 programs by the way and am devastated that he had to wtihdraw from 1997 Worlds and 1998 Olympics. Given how everyone skated at Nagano, another medal wouldn't have been that unlikely.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    Whilst Bonaly's LP incorporated greater technical content, she made mistakes, including a hand down on a 3R. Whilst Sato's program contained less difficulty, it was skated clean apart from one popped jump. The result ultimately therefore came down to the artistic impression mark, with Sato winning by 5 judges to 4 overall (Bonaly winning 8-1 on the technical merit mark, and Sato winning 8-1 on the artistic impression mark). It was at these championships that the very one dimensional jump orientated nature of Bonaly's skating really hurt her most, as this was the closest she ever came to winning a world or Olympic title, and it was her lack of artistry/presentation skills that were the decisive factor in her defeat.
    Are you including skating skills under the second mark. They probably influenced both marks in judges' minds under 6.0. And that was probably the deciding factor between these two skaters, one of the best vs. one of the worst senior ladies at those skills at that time.

    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I thought watching at the time Moniotte & Lavanchy should have won the dance gold after Grischuk's fall but looking back now it was probably correct.
    It was Platov who fell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Are you including skating skills under the second mark.
    I certainly agree that skating skills were a factor. Some of the elements of the modern COP definition of 'skating skills' would have been addressed as part of the old 6.0 system technical merit mark, whilst others would have featured in the artistic impression mark. That is one of my big gripes with COP/IJS, as the PCS score was meant to replace the artistic impression/presentation mark. Yet 'skating skills' (much of which should form part of a more widely defined TES score which incorporates all technical issues) has been lumped in with it. That is one of the reasons why much of the artistry has gone out of figure skating following the introduction of COP/IJS (i.e. less than 50% of the total mark is awarded for actual "artistry" as it was understood under the old 6.0 system)

    A lot of Bonaly fans think that she should have received higher technical merit marks than she actually did because the technical content of her programs was so much higher than her contemporaries. Well, you have identified one of the reasons why she didn't, and why the scores she did receive were fair (i.e. that whilst her jumping ability was superior, her overall skating skills were poor, and that reduced both her technical merit and artistic impression marks).

    Bonaly was extremely fortunate that most of her career post dated the abolition of compulsory figures. Had they not been phased out, then she almost certainly would never have won a medal of any kind at World level. In the two years she competed at Worlds when compulsory figures still featured, she finished 16th in the compulsories segment in 1989 and outside the top 12 in 1990 (I have not been able to find her precise placement for 1990, as the only details I have found only provide the top 12) It used to be the case, of course, that compulsories made up 60% of the total score and there was no short program. Had that still been the case by the time Bonaly competed, she would never have even made onto the French team to even compete at European and World level in the first place.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 11-18-2013 at 06:48 PM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    That is one of my big gripes with COP/IJS, as the PCS score was meant to replace the artistic impression/presentation mark. Yet 'skating skills' (much of which should form part of a more widely defined TES score which incorporates all technical issues) has been lumped in with it. That is one of the reasons why much of the artistry has gone out of figure skating following the introduction of COP/IJS (i.e. less than 50% of the total mark is awarded for actual "artistry" as it was understood under the old 6.0 system)
    This isn't really the thread for it, but . . .
    The split between TES and PCS is not so much technical vs. artistic as discrete elements (with base values and GOEs) vs. qualities that apply to the program as a whole, some of which are more technical and some more artistic.

    And the factors for the PCS have been set to make the total PCS approximately equal to the total TES. Although when you have guys doing multiple quads, they can outscore the maximum possible factored PCS, which is capped at 50 for men's SP and 100 for men's FS (40 and 80 for ladies and pairs).

    Early on ISU spokespeople may have made statements along the lines that the PCS was equivalent to the old "artistic" mark and that artistry would still be worth half the score. Can you find any statements to that effect?

    Maybe whoever made such a statement considered skating quality and transitional moves between the scored elements to contribute more to artistic impression than technical content.

    Maybe it was shorthand for elements worth approximately half and global qualities approximately half, in a context where brevity was more relevant than breaking down which parts of each score were technical/athletic and which were athletic. Maybe officials thought they had to dumb down the explanation for journalists/commentators, or journalists thought they had to dumb it down for general audiences.

    Certainly there were always aspects of the old Presentation mark (which hadn't been called "Artistic Impression" for at least a decade as of the introduction of IJS) that relied more on technical aspects than pure artistry.

    Suppose there were a general agreement among ISU officials, skaters/coaches, etc., that "artistry" should count for half the score and global qualities that are primarily technical should not be counted as part of that half.

    Would the solution be to rejigger the factors so the elements score plus the factored SS/TR score(s) is worth half, let's call it a Total Technical Score, and PE+CH+IN would be multiplied by larger factors to end up worth approximately the same to this TTS?

    To bring this back to the present discussion ...

    How important should Skating Skills be in determining results?

    My impression is that, under 6.0 especially since the end of school figures, there was a tension within the skating world between making skating quality the most important determinant vs. jump count. Fans might divide between those who think jumps should be most important and those who think artistry should be most important, but I would venture that most judges and others who have devoted their lives to the sport would put actual skating ability first, and then jumps or artistry second and third in some order.

    There's certainly room for different opinions as to whether Sato or Bonaly was more "artistic," depending how you define artistry. And there's room for different opinions as to how much to value difficulty vs. quality of the jumps (not that Sato's were perfect at 94 Worlds either).

    But there's less room for argument that Sato's actual skating was much better. So, for those officials who value skating quality, an ideal point-based judging system would be one in which there are plenty of points available for high-quality skating. If elements + skating is of equal value to artistry, then the skating is inevitably going to be worth less than the artistry and often worth less than the elements, which would not be an acceptable balance to those who value the skating quality as most important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    How important should Skating Skills be in determining results?

    My impression is that, under 6.0 especially since the end of school figures, there was a tension within the skating world between making skating quality the most important determinant vs. jump count. Fans might divide between those who think jumps should be most important and those who think artistry should be most important, but I would venture that most judges and others who have devoted their lives to the sport would put actual skating ability first, and then jumps or artistry second and third in some order.

    So, for those officials who value skating quality, an ideal point-based judging system would be one in which there are plenty of points available for high-quality skating. If elements + skating is of equal value to artistry, then the skating is inevitably going to be worth less than the artistry and often worth less than the elements, which would not be an acceptable balance to those who value the skating quality as most important.
    Excellent explanation as usual. I don't believe that COP/IJS has the balance right at present. But I hope that a new judging system comes in post Cinquanta which finds a better balance between the competing factors, whether that's an improved version of COP/IJS or a complete overhaul (although as I have said previously, my preference would be for a return to the 6.0 system).
    Last edited by Maofan7; 11-18-2013 at 07:03 PM.

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    Bonaly deserved 4th place at these Worlds behind Szewcenko and Kiellmann. She only made 4 triples clean and the jumps are her strength so I have no idea how she won silver. Did she take her medal off to protest her silver or because she thought she deserve gold medal? If she thought she should take gold medal with that skate she is crazy.

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    All of the professionals who had returned for the 1994 Olympics, immediately "re-retired" after the Olympics - Witt, Boitano, Petrenko, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Mishkutenok & Dmitriev, and Torvill & Dean. Hence, none of them competed at these World Championships.
    It's not that big of a deal, but M&D never did re-retire, the Russian Federation indicated prior to the Olympics that the pair who finished highest would go to Worlds along with Shishkova/Naumov and Eltsova/Bushkov. So, G/G would have been there, but did re-retire, M&D who did go on to compete at the 1994 Goodwill Games in the summer, were not sent to the WC. Petrova/Sikharulidze went as the 3rd pair (finish 8th, right behind Berezhnaya/Shliakov).

    M&D were slated to continue skating in 1995 and even prepared a new short, however, they never showed up at Europeans that year, I think Mishkuetenok decided to quit competing and Dmitriev wished to continue, so I believe he never needed to reinstate during that time period.

    I still miss M&D and would say that their Liebestraum is one of, if not the best, pair program of all time...it certainly upped the athletic ante while still being extremely artistic, in fact, you could add a third lift (although, I'm not sure what you would leave out - the program is so beautiful), change the SBS 2-flip to SBS 3-salchow, and upgrade the Th3T and it could be competitive today. As always, YMMV...

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    Why couldn't Miskutienok & Dmitriev compete at the 94 Worlds once G&G WD. They obviously had ample time to send a new team given that Petrova & Sikhardlidze competed. I hope they didn't then bypass them even in favor of a junior team once G&G WD.

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    I think the Russian fed made this arrangement prior to the games and all parties agreed so when G/G withdrew, M/D were passed over. Weird, I know. Maybe someone else has a long memory and can verify?

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    Thank you for all the links and commentary, Maofan. It was a pleasure to revisit those skates.

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    New York Times report on the outcome of the ladies event

    Quote Originally Posted by lao1234 View Post
    It's not that big of a deal, but M&D never did re-retire, the Russian Federation indicated prior to the Olympics that the pair who finished highest would go to Worlds along with Shishkova/Naumov and Eltsova/Bushkov. So, G/G would have been there, but did re-retire, M&D who did go on to compete at the 1994 Goodwill Games in the summer, were not sent to the WC. Petrova/Sikharulidze went as the 3rd pair (finish 8th, right behind Berezhnaya/Shliakov).
    I had completely forgotten about this and the fact that M&D went on to compete at the Goodwill Games.

    1994 Goodwill Games - Pairs Result

    Gold: Natalia Mishkutenok / Artur Dmitriev (Russia)

    Technical program, Free Skate

    Silver: Marina Eltsova / Andrei Bushkov (Russia)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    Bronze: Evgenia Shishkova / Vadim Naumov (Russia)

    Technical Program, Free Skate

    Whilst the Goodwill Games were Mishkutenok's final event before retiring, Artur Dmitriev of course went on to link up with Oksana Kazakova and win the the 1998 Olympics.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 11-19-2013 at 04:57 AM.

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    This thread just makes me sad. Life in general was so much more hopeful back then. Anyway, I digress.

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    Just thought I would mention - I seem to remember that Brasseur & Eisler bravely competed here despite Isabelle's painful injury so that Canada could have more entries at the following year's Worlds. I don't know if they truly felt they had a shot at repeating their World title or just decided to let the chips fall where they may. They certainly seemed much more relaxed that usual when competing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimGOAT View Post
    Bonaly deserved 4th place at these Worlds behind Szewcenko and Kiellmann. She only made 4 triples clean and the jumps are her strength so I have no idea how she won silver. Did she take her medal off to protest her silver or because she thought she deserve gold medal? If she thought she should take gold medal with that skate she is crazy.
    Did you watch SP's ?
    And I don't think Surya really thought she deserved the Gold. What we saw on the podium was her immediate reaction right after the results, because she was really, really disappointed. I guess it was more about all her disappointments (Lillehammer, 1993 Worlds, 1992 Worlds and Albertville...).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    Excellent explanation as usual. I don't believe that COP/IJS has the balance right at present. But I hope that a new judging system comes in post Cinquanta which finds a better balance between the competing factors, whether that's an improved version of COP/IJS or a complete overhaul (although as I have said previously, my preference would be for a return to the 6.0 system).
    I am with you. Whether it's called 6.0 or anything else, I would like to see a better system that encourages artistry, and rewards the program as a whole, instead of bits and pieces. The PCS is still as subjective as in the 6.0 but it lacks the 'integrated program' perspective.

    Back to the topic though- I enjoyed the 1994 worlds even without some of the Olympic medallists there. It was especially nice to see Tania Szewczenko win the bronze and her joyous reaction was heart warming. I thought her coaches did her a great disservice by not letting her skate in the Olympics because she was sick. It was her only Olympic experience, IIRC.

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    Wasn't Szewczenko the skater Baiul collided with, during the long program practice at Lillehammer? Oh - you mean she didn't skate in 1998 due to illness?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I enjoyed the 1994 worlds even without some of the Olympic medallists there. It was especially nice to see Tania Szewczenko win the bronze and her joyous reaction was heart warming. I thought her coaches did her a great disservice by not letting her skate in the Olympics because she was sick. It was her only Olympic experience, IIRC.
    Quote Originally Posted by lao1234 View Post
    Wasn't Szewczenko the skater Baiul collided with, during the long program practice at Lillehammer? Oh - you mean she didn't skate in 1998 due to illness?
    Tanja went on to finish 6th at the 1994 Olympics, despite the collision during practice with Baiul. However, she withdrew from the 1998 Olympics after contracting the flu. 10 years earlier, Caryn Kadavy was in 6th place after the SP at the 1988 Olympics, but was unable to compete in the FS after coming down with the flu
    Last edited by Maofan7; 11-19-2013 at 07:53 PM.

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