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  1. #181
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    Sokolova coming 2nd at worlds was pretty much a flukish result, similar to Kimmie's world title. It is pretty obvious she isnt the kind of skater who will ever normally be up that high. Gusmeroli has a few top 5s at worlds so was probably destined to get that medal (her 97 bronze) at one point in her career.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by frillit View Post
    Sokolova coming 2nd at worlds was pretty much a flukish result, similar to Kimmie's world title. It is pretty obvious she isn't the kind of skater who will ever normally be up that high. Gusmeroli has a few top 5's at worlds so was probably destined to get that medal (her '97 bronze) at one point in her career..
    Oh, she couldn't have been that bad! Elena won a few GP events when Maria and Irina were a bit down in the late 90's! I don't know if they were injured or just psychologically impaired! Around then I was amazed by her and the new kid on the block; Evengi Plushenko! Loved that Jarre program he performed for 2 years getting a bronze and silver World medal and pushed Alexei harder than Mishin ever could alone! I still think Yagudin could have held on for another Olympics if not for Plushy making him add more technical content to his program; breaking down those hips! No one else could do that after '98! To beat Eldridge, Weiss, Savoie, and Goebel of the US, he could actually eliminate his quad, the artistic scores for his programs were so high; esp. after Tatiana took over!

  3. #183
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    Sokolova coming in second at 2003 Worlds was not a fluke if you take her entire season into account. She was building and building all season, skating really well and probably deserved to beat Slute at Europeans. Her long program was a shitfest but she was jumping so well that year.

  4. #184
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    Sokolova coming in 2nd at '03 Worlds was not a fluke if you take her entire season into account. She was building and building all season, skating really well and probably deserved to beat Slute at Europeans. Her long program was a shit-fest, but she was jumping so well that year.
    Agreed! She didn't need to do much after triple lutz/triple toe combo at the beginning of Elena's program! lol!

  5. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Michelle's quality of skating is miles ahead of Maria. It's evident. Layback, the combo spin, and even the flying spin was better executed. Her spiral was extremely better than Maria's. Sasha had a better position, but Kwan's flow, ice coverage, depth of edge, speed, and pattern were way superior. Sasha would improve on ice coverage and pattern later on. Kwan's program composition for her SP that was four years old was still world-class and better than the choreography Maria performed. Also, Kwan had the best musical interpretation of the bunch.

    I see strong arguments that Irina should have placed ahead of Kwan considering the flip issue, but not Maria. Remember that even in the SP, 6.0 took the totality of the elements and considered the program as a whole. That played a huge part in why Kwan ended up winning 5 judges. Remember that even the judges that took the error into account still placed Kwan in first (most notably, the Italian judge who gave Kwan a 5.5 on technical merit). I do think the home field helped Kwan sell the routine and skate bigger than she had all season, but the judges have never felt that compelled to give the win to the hometown skater if they did not want to. Even when they do, I think her first place placement was reasonable. Kwan also beat Slutskaya in the SP earlier that season when both made major mistakes.
    Again I am not saying Butyrskaya neccessarily should have beaten Kwan in the short program in SLC. I simply pointed out the last time Slutskaya, Butyrskaya and Kwan competed vs each other and all 3 did virtually the same short programs as SLC, Irina had all 1st place ordinals, and Maria barely edged Kwan for 2nd. So for Kwan to win the short program over Irina even with a shaky jump, and Maria to be way down in 5th, is just one blatant inconsistency of the SLC SP scoring vs other SPs that year. I am not only pointing that out regarding Slutskaya, Kwan, and Butyrskaya, but also Cohen, Hughes, and Suguri.

    Here are the short programs some of the top 7 from the SLC SP met and how they did:


    Goodwill Games:

    1. Slutskaya- almost every judge had her 1st.
    2. Kwan- distant 2nd despite totally clean short, better than SLC, although a different program (IMO a better one at that point than her 4 year old Rachmaninoff).
    3. Suguri
    4. Cohen- totally clean but still easily beaten by Suguri, almost every judge having her behind.


    Trophee de France:

    1. Butyrskaya
    2. Volchkova
    3. Cohen- totally clean again but couldnt even beat VV, let alone Butyrskaya.


    Grand Prix final:

    1. Slutskaya- easy 1st with all 7 1st place votes.
    2. Butyrskaya- similar skate to SLC, tenative with 2 shaky elements.
    3. Kwan- similar skate to SLC, one shaky jump that held onto, otherwise good.


    So looking at that and going to SLC results of: 1. Kwan even with a suspect jump, 2. Slutksaya, 3. Cohen, 5. Butyrskaya, 7. Suguri, the vast differential to how they were scored everywhere else that season is more than obvious. One can safely conclude had the Games been anywhere but the U.S Slutskaya would have easily won the short, Butyrskaya would have been atleast 3rd, Hughes given her poor skate that night no higher than maybe 6th, Cohen probably no higher than 5th, Suguri probably atleast 5th, etc..



    As for your first comment, regardless of your opinion on Maria's skating, the judges had shown they considered her competitive with Michelle in the short program if she skated well. Maria easily won the short program at the 2000 worlds over Slutskaya and Kwan who were both clean, and it is plainly apparent by the scores would have still won it even without their one slightly shaky landing each. At the 2000 grand prix final Butyrskaya's scores for a program with a fall make it obvious she would have placed 1st or 2nd in the short program without that fall even with Kwan (2nd) and Slutskaya (1st) both clean (judges gave her mostly 5.4s for elements, and 5.8s for presentation with a fall on a triple flip, Kwan had mostly 5.7s for elements and 5.8s for presentation with a clean skate, and Irina lots of 5.7s for presentation even for her clean skate). I already mentioned the 2001 grand prix final where she came 2nd. Yet in SLC suddenly even her clean short is no longer competitive with the top girls competing against 3 U.S girls in the U.S.

  6. #186

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    Didn't Maria sort of have a clean short at 2001 Worlds but was placed 5th there behind Slute, Kwan (who flutzed worse than usual and had a slight double-foot on her combo), Angela, and Sarah?

    Cleanliness on paper is only part of the impression. A clean Maria in one competition could be totally better than a clean Maria in another. I also think that if we argue that Kwan got an inconsistent result due to political reasons (although I'm hard-pressed to find what Italy, Slovakia, Denmark, and Germany had to gain from putting Kwan first there), then we have to look at every competition with that lens as well. Maybe people were thinking that Slute was unfairly winning too many competitions where both skaters were clean. Even if you disagree with that, there was some sentiment Kwan and/or Maria should have won some of those competitions. It's like Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze finally winning a close competition in SLC after losing so many competitions to Sale/Pelletier where it could have gone their way.
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  7. #187
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    and yet even if all that were true it still wouldnt explain the placements of Hughes for that mediocre skate, Cohen, Butyrskaya via Hughes and Cohen, Suguri. Sorry but there is no way around it, the marks and placements in SLC, especialy in the short program, were majorly affected by U.S home court location, with the U.S women getting a huge boost, and the foreign threats getting a huge dumping. Focusing on Kwan deserving to beat Butyrskaya in the short program (kind of silly to resort to when they finished 4 spots apart) is like picking a branch out of a large forest and thinking the problem is solved. The placements of the U.S women vs the non U.S women werent so drastically in favor of all 3 U.S women and against all top 3 non U.S contenders vs what the barometers had been all season purely by such phantom chance.

  8. #188

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    I only mentioned Butyrskaya because someone was arguing that Kwan should have placed below her. Anyway, if you don't see that Hughes and Cohen had some qualities over Butyrskaya in some of the required SP elements and in the performance of their programs as a whole, then you won't be the only one. That said, I do think the ordinals being all over the place show that there wasn't really a consensus to put Hughes over Bute in the SP. It just really happened. Cohen hit SLC the way she hit 2000 Nationals and Julia Lipnitskaya hit Sochi. Some times taking the competition by storm helps (and it helps that the judges think you're a champion-calibre newcomer and they haven't had time to dissect all of your flaws yet so the wow factor is still there). Fumie Suguri placed higher than Cohen at the GWG, but was a split decision (or at least it was closer than 9-0) so it wasn't outside the realm of possibility that Sasha would place ahead of Fumie. Hughes always had her issues and still did well internationally since the 1999-2000 season.

    SLC was all about Kwan v. Slutskaya. That had been shaping up since 1999/2000 and considering how great they were, it wasn't unfair. Slutskaya decidedly beat Kwan in the SPs, but Kwan did beat Slute once in the SP that season and Kwan may have received some goodwill from the judges in SLC. I just think a few things came into play. One being the fact that Kwan didn't win in Nagano helping her get the support from the judges. It was like a curative act. Add on to the fact that Slutskaya also received beneficial treatment from the judges that resulted in her getting controversial wins going into SLC and some thinking things should have been closer between her and Kwan might have caught on in SLC. Plus maybe some of the judges really thought Kwan deserved first considering how Slute and Kwan sold their routines that night. I think all those factors played a role. It's not as if the Olympics going a different way from the rest of the season(s) was unprecedented. Every skater who wins benefits somehow for a myriad of reasons. That's figure skating. I just think making it all about American soil is missing the entire picture.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 05-08-2014 at 09:18 AM.
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  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanoverrated View Post
    Again I am not saying Butyrskaya neccessarily should have beaten Kwan in the short program in SLC. I simply pointed out the last time Slutskaya, Butyrskaya and Kwan competed vs each other and all 3 did virtually the same short programs as SLC, Irina had all 1st place ordinals, and Maria barely edged Kwan for 2nd. So for Kwan to win the short program over Irina even with a shaky jump, and Maria to be way down in 5th, is just one blatant inconsistency of the SLC SP scoring vs other SPs that year. I am not only pointing that out regarding Slutskaya, Kwan, and Butyrskaya, but also Cohen, Hughes, and Suguri.

    Here are the short programs some of the top 7 from the SLC SP met and how they did:


    Goodwill Games:

    1. Slutskaya- almost every judge had her 1st.
    2. Kwan- distant 2nd despite totally clean short, better than SLC, although a different program (IMO a better one at that point than her 4 year old Rachmaninoff).
    3. Suguri
    4. Cohen- totally clean but still easily beaten by Suguri, almost every judge having her behind.

    Trophee de France:

    1. Butyrskaya
    2. Volchkova
    3. Cohen- totally clean again but couldnt even beat VV, let alone Butyrskaya.
    Cohen was not easily beaten by Suguri at GWG. The judges had Cohen, Suguri, and Liashenko pretty much spread evenly between 3-5, with everyone of them having at least 2 third place ordinals.

    In France, she took two first place ordinals and two second place ordinals. And this was even skating in the first of two groups. So even if the net placement was below Maria and Fumie, the huge gap you're claiming to be in competitions outside the US isn't exactly there.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf334 View Post
    Cohen was not easily beaten by Suguri at GWG. The judges had Cohen, Suguri, and Liashenko pretty much spread evenly between 3-5, with everyone of them having at least 2 third place ordinals.

    In France, she took two first place ordinals and two second place ordinals. And this was even skating in the first of two groups. So even if the net placement was below Maria and Fumie, the huge gap you're claiming to be in competitions outside the US isn't exactly there.
    Huh? Suguri beat Cohen in the long program on every judge but one - the US judge. Despite skating very well in the long, Cohen even had as low as a 7th place ordinal in the long. In France that year she skated a clean short program and took two ordinals from Maria (one was from the US judge again though ) but initial fan reports claimed Maria two-footed her solo jump. On TV in the slo-mo replay, you could see she had not two-footed it, but judging from some of her unusually low technical scores, some of the judges might have also thought it was two-footed when they were watching it live.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    Huh? Suguri beat Cohen in the long program on every judge but one - the US judge.
    At the GWG the OP was only referring to the SP- or at least that was my interpretation.

  12. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by asdf334 View Post
    At the GWG the OP was only referring to the SP- or at least that was my interpretation.
    Whoops. My apologies, asdf!

  13. #193
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    If I remember correctly, Sasha landed only 3 triples in the GWG long, many of the unclean triples being two-footed. And Fumie skated very well, attempting a 3-3 though two-footing the second half and landing 5 triples total. Fumie's overall placement was accurate considering how she skated.

    While I do think SLC did show favoritism towards Americans (Kwan and Hughes in the short), Sasha's overall placement was one I completely agreed with. Her short was decidedly 3rd best IMO.

  14. #194
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady82 View Post
    If I remember correctly, Sasha landed only 3 triples in the GWG long, many of the unclean triples being two-footed. And Fumie skated very well, attempting a 3-3 though two-footing the second half and landing 5 triples total. Fumie's overall placement was accurate considering how she skated.

    While I do think SLC did show favoritism towards Americans (Kwan and Hughes in the short), Sasha's overall placement was one I completely agreed with. Her short was decidedly 3rd best IMO.
    I'm guessing GWG is 2001 GWG in Australia! Loved that competition and the results! Stayed up all night to get the results and to happily proclaim Irina Slutskaya the ladies champion and Evgeny Plushenko the men champion! The favorites were obviously Michelle Kwan and Alexei Yagudin respectively; but both failed miserably! MK and AY were at the same stage of mental and physical burnout IMO! Both were looking over their shoulders; Alexei so much, he crashed into the wall trying to complete his 3A/3T combo in the SP! How he retained Bronze is still unfathomable to me; crashed and burned on each jump element during "Winter!" Everyone was using their new short programs; Irina "Serenade" and Plushy using a Michael Jackson medley! I couldn't have been happier! BTW, I'm still trying to figure out why the Russians got 4 female entries; Slutz, Butyr., Volch., and Sok.? I keep asking and looking, but it's still a mystery!

  15. #195
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Cleanliness on paper is only part of the impression. A clean Maria in one competition could be totally better than a clean Maria in another.
    This is especialy true of Maria. She can skate cleanish programs but with really stiff knees, no attack, and super nervous, that mostly translates top shaky elements and skating. When she is relaxed enough to feel her knees it makes a world of difference. That probably explains some of the events kwanoverrated referred to like the 2000/2001 season grand prix final where she actually got higher marks falling on a major element in the short than some of her cleanish but stiff and slow short programs like the 2001 worlds and 2002 Olympics. Blaming U.S location for Maria's low placing in the SLC short is pure fanboyism. If Maria had done her short from say the 2000 or even 1999 worlds in SLC does anyone seriously think she wouldn't have been top 3, and quite possibly even 1st. That isn't what she produced though, and was marked rightly for her wooden performance with mostly so so and barely completed elements. If she weren't a former world champion she might have been 6th or 7th instead of 5th.

  16. #196
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    Fumie had the better career. Sasha was the better skater.

  17. #197
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    Quote Originally Posted by docktrump View Post
    Fumie had the better career. Sasha was the better skater.
    Agreed! It was unfortunate something kept Sasha from performing a clean 2 performances at event after event; even ones she won! Fumi was competent, but far from the style, class, and grace of Sasha! Fumi outdid Sasha enough to take at least Bronze medals at multiple world events while Sasha salvaged something with Silver at Turin in '06! I almost would call Sasha the "Liz Manley" of her era, but didn't do quite as well when it counted; heaven knows without all the baggage!

  18. #198
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiero425 View Post
    Agreed! It was unfortunate something kept Sasha from performing a clean 2 performances at event after event; even ones she won! Fumi was competent, but far from the style, class, and grace of Sasha! Fumi outdid Sasha enough to take at least Bronze medals at multiple world events while Sasha salvaged something with Silver at Turin in '06! I almost would call Sasha the "Liz Manley" of her era, but didn't do quite as well when it counted; heaven knows without all the baggage!
    Yeah it is a travesty we are even comparing the careers of Sasha and Fumie when Sasha was about 5 times more talented. Nothing against Fumie, I like her a lot, hard working and dedicated, good all around, quiet and humble, and obviously loves skating to keep doing it into her 30s. She isn't a special talent like Sasha though. Fumie was a major overachiever, and Sasha a huge underachiever. I don't think anyone would say Fumie was as talented or as good a skater as even say Joannie Rochette yet has more success than Rochette.

  19. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Didn't Maria sort of have a clean short at 2001 Worlds but was placed 5th there behind Slute, Kwan (who flutzed worse than usual and had a slight double-foot on her combo), Angela, and Sarah?
    The Russian fed had dumped her by that point, plus she wasn't skating in the final flight. Had she been in the final flight, she probably would have been placed 2nd or 3rd with the same performance even with no support from the Russian fed. I don't remember was Kwan's combination even clean or the triple lutz two footed. Maria screwed her chances for the whole 2001 worlds by bombing the qualifying round, and never made up the ground. Kwan or Slutskaya would have done the same thing if they bombed the qualifying.

  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I only mentioned Butyrskaya because someone was arguing that Kwan should have placed below her.
    Maria did place over Michelle Kwan in the short program I think 6 times from 97-2001. Some of those Kwan had a major mistake, but some of those she didn't and still placed behind, and there are other times Maria might have without a mistake too. Overall Michelle was still by far the better short program skater of course, but Maria was a legitimate rival to Kwan in the short program. It is the long program where she was no competition for Michelle over the years. Maria was a very good short program skater and a true contender in that portion over years, and a mediocre and inconsistent long program skater. Her SLC SP was probably one of the poorest clean shorts she ever did, which is why she placed low. The elements were mostly shaky and of low quality, and the performance was slow, stiff, and scared looking. She has done tons of short programs in her career way better than SLC though.

    SLC was all about Kwan v. Slutskaya.
    Sarah Hughes decided otherwise.

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