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Angela Nikodinov in 2002

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by shady82, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    What would be Angela Nikodinov's ranking potential be during the 2002 SLC season if she continued her upward trend from 2001?

    Unfortunately, she didn't skate well enough during the GP series to make it to the GPF, and skated poorly at Nationals. Therefore she could not make it to the Olympic team. I know there are many what-ifs in the scenario - but does she have the physical or mental ability to make it the GPF and/or the Olympics? If she does make it to the Olympics, does she have the potential to medal or even when gold (since Kwan or Slutskaya both skated poorly)?

    My thoughts:
    - She definitely could have made the GPF, but was . Unfortunately, she let her demons get to her at every event. Even after falling to 3rd at both Sparkassen and CoR, she could have still made the GPF by performing decently at NHK with a weak field. Unfortunately, she faltered and let Malinina take away her berth. If she did it make it to GPF though, I doubt she would make the top 3 - Hughes' 7-triple program would have topped Angela, even if she skated cleanly. This is assuming Angela still follows a 6-triple layout.

    - At Nationals, Angela placed 4th after the SP. This was a close event, and I think much of her placement is due to her wonky 3flip landing - if she skated more convincingly (i.e. 2001 Nationals or Worlds SP), she would have at least landed ahead of Hughes. Similarly, a strong LP (6 triples) may have landed her at the Olympics, since Hughes was 'off' during the LP, aside from also landing 6 triples. Angela was also reported to be skating very well during practices. Of course, if she had made the GPF and/or done well there, her rep would have been much more boosted at Nationals.

    - If Angela made the Olympics, I think a good SP from her would at least land her in 4th. Butyrskaya's SP was clean but unconvincing, and the judges would not place clean Sebestyen or Suguri ahead of Angela. In the long, what are her chances of winning a medal (or gold) if she skates to her potential?

    Don't kill me for bringing in so many hypotheticals :lol: but I love discussing skating during the early 2000s. It's the era that got me into the sport and I like reanalyzing now that I have much more experience with it.
  2. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

    Wow! That is a lot of thinking :) I think Angela was on such a roll she would have done very well. I always thought she was a lovely skater who really came into her own.
  3. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    I think she would have had a very hard time even making the 2002 Olympic team. Hughes did land 7 triples at those Nationals, even if she was blah and slow, and she was even placed above Nikidinov at the 2001 Nationals when Angela skated very well and Hughes made a mistake. I think Kwan, Cohen, and Hughes was the ideal team the USFSA saw by the time 02 Nationals rolled around and probably only a poor skate by Hughes or Cohen was changing that. I am not sure Angela could have made the team even with a clean 7 triple program, something she never has done.

    Now had she medalled at the 2001 Worlds, which she had in her grasp to do, it would be a whole different story. With the much hyped and USFSA beloved Cohen coming back strong the last 90 seconds of Angela's Vancouver Worlds LP had likely already cost her a spot on the Olympic team.

    As for if she made the Olympics she probably would have been similar to the 2001 Worlds. A chance for the bronze only if she skated perfectly. That remains even with the competition panned out. No way she was beating Hughes who had the skate of her life with numerous triple-triples and much more rep than Angela had. I would consider Angela less of a contender than say Butyrskaya, and even Maria seemed a long shot for a medal in SLC.
  4. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    I know Hughes was 3rd after a so-so performance at nats, but I think the slc team was going to be Kwan and Hughes before the season even began. Nik lost a sure spot when hughes medaled at worlds and she didn't. It's easy to look back and say sasha was a sure spot since she went on to have a great career, but up until 02 nats she was all hype and no action. She was Angela's true competition for the coveted 3rd spot. Sasha skated her best, Angela did not. She would have needed the exact opposite to have happened. Sasha placing over a so-so Sarah, while a brilliant Angela still placed below a so-so Sarah the year before, gives Cohen the edge IMO had they both actually skated well.
  5. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Yeah, let's face it...Hughes solidified her spot at 2001 Worlds. Not only that, but Hughes had been on an upward trend from 1999 Worlds. Nikodinov didn't have that. She would have needed Hughes to totally melt down and had the skate of her life to take that spot. I think Cohen made a strong case for herself to place ahead of Hughes at 2002 Nationals, but I also think it was a little bit political so the USFS could sell three very strong contenders to the SLC Olympics.
  6. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    Was Hughes really that strong of a lock though? Even when skates clean, she has a low score ceiling due to her technical issues (i.e. 5.3 for a 7-triple program in Vancouver). Nikodinov, when clean, seems to get similar scores, based on what I saw during the GP series. I definitely do think that her chances would have been stronger had she performed better during the GP.

    And while Hughes was on an upward trend, Nikodinov was as well. In 2001, Nikodinov landed on a new level with her skating, and the judges easily took notice. Sarah had already been in the top 5 at Worlds, so for Angela to even land in the top 3 during the Vancouver SP was an accomplishment.

    I'm not saying Angela would certainly have a good shot - I'm just not so convinced Sarah was so locked in for the Olympics. However, Kwan-Cohen-Hughes skated well at the Nationals, so it would be interesting to see how Nikodinov would have placed with clean programs and GP momentum. Would the judges just have had Cohen and Nikodinov for the team, bump Cohen in favor of Hughes, or still bump off Nikodinov?

    Did Hughes land 7 triples at 2002 Nats? My memory was that she landed 6 - and that was what Frogs on Ice had as well.
  7. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    But remember if Angela went to the Olympics, Sarah probably would not have.
  8. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    On the contrary I suspect if Angela had gone to the Olympics, it is Sasha who would not have. I agree with the poster who said Sasha was placed over Sarah at Nationals (on a 5-4 split) only to make it appear the U.S had 3 really strong contenders for SLC when previously Sasha had no international cred., even less than Angela. So had Angela skated well at Nationals and been put on the team, it would have been at Sasha's expense with Angela probably being placed 2nd over Sarah as Sasha was for the same reason.

    However it seems the strong consensus in this thread is that even had Angela skated cleanly at Nationals with 7 triples (I am talking going into Nationals as with, not if she had GP momentum, not if she had done better at Worlds, but exactly as was) she would have been placed below both Cohen and Hughes with how each skated at Nationals, and right off the team. Reading the previous posts that is what of you are thinking correct? Then in the event she skated decently with just 5 triples (her max in the past, never saw her do a 7 triple program anyway), minus any major falls and many major pops, even more likely that would have been the case with her missing out.

    Even if Angela had made it to the Olympics, even had Hughes been the one to not make it, and then even had Angela had a great competition though no way she wins gold. Even with Slutskaya's mediocre and fugly skate with mistakes, and Kwan's fall, it would take someone with triple-triples to be placed over then. I am not sure if even a clean Butyrsakya would have been placed over them for instance, and I believe Angela was viewed by international judges as even lower than old Butyrskaya. The best case she could have done is a bronze with or without Hughes , and it would have taken a lights out effort on her part.
  9. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

    It's a real shame Nikodinov wasn't a stronger competitor. I far preferred her skating above both Hughes and Cohen. She was elegance, grace, and fluidity personified. She had a true Lutz too. Her classic layback spin was stunning and her trademark besting those of all Kwan, Hughes, and Cohen, IMO. Unfortunately, she would always let her nerves get the best of her and would pop jumps.
  10. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    Rotation and takeoff edges aside, Hughes' jumps in the FS were as follows: 2a 3t (seq.?), 3s1r, 3z2t, 3f, 3r, 3z, 3t. With regard to the second 3t, I don't know what the rules for jump sequences were back then.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  11. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Did anybody know why Angela had such non-competitive spins in her LPs? Aside from her layback, her other spins were very basic compared to the likes of Slute, Cohen, and Kwan. Her final spin was a slow-speed if artistic forward scratch spin when skaters usually did that as a 5th optional spin at the time.
  12. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah some people are remembering with the knowledge that Sasha turned out to be a three-time world medalist. In 2002 she was coming off an injury, had a disastrous skate at Skate America and didn't qualify for the GPF either. Sarah and Michelle were treated as sure shots all years by the press and specially ABC. Michelle, Sarah and Michelle all skated in the first group. Sasha skated very late in the short program after a string of bad performances, even so she had a couple of 4th place ordinals and Nikodinov who ended up with the most 4th place ordinals also had a 1st place ordinal. The short program was very very close. Once Angela tanked the long though, politics came into play and I strong believe Sasha was pushed to second to help her politically on the international level. Sarah was Skate Canada champion and a world medalist and didn't need the same push.
  13. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    I think that Angela had an uphill battle to make the team - Kwan obviously was a lock and Hughes had built a strong reputation at Worlds the past 2 years, ultimately medalling in 2001.

    Despite her transformation, I think Angela still had a tough road due to the fact that the USFSA was in love with Sasha from the beginning - look at 2000 Nationals. Angela may not have made the team had Sasha been healthy for 2001 Nationals. Sasha had a very good SP and LP at 2002 Nationals and Sarah ended up 3rd. I'm not convinced that anything Angela would've done competing against a World medalist could have gotten her on the team.
  14. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    I don't think it was politics that put Sasha over Sarah at 2002 Nationals. Sarah's pre-SLC program was a bit of a snoozefest whereas Sasha's packed more of a punch. The changes that Robin made to Sarah's LP after nationals were very smart. Of course it helped immensely that Sarah really delivered in SLC.
  15. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    This thread makes me sad for Angela since it appears we are all in agreement she couldnt have made the team even had she skated perfectly at Nationals. It was almost better for her she bombed then since had she skated cleanly and landed 7 triples and still missed the team, it probably would have been even more gutting for her.
  16. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    I'm not. Even with a wonky landing in the short, she still stole a first place ordinal from Kwan. She had a lot of support and her long program scores were very good for the poor skate she put out. I think she landed 3 triples to Hughes' 6 and five judges had them only separated by .01. I was there in 2002 and besides Michelle, Angela had the loudest support of the ladies competition. She would have blown the roof off the place if she'd skated clean and she had the probably the best choreographed long program of the competition. I think many judges wanted Angela on the team. She just didn't deliver. http://www.usfigureskating.org/even...tent/events/200102/uschamps/srladies-free.htm
  17. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    I agree. Your points regarding Angela's marks in comparison to those of Hughes and Cohen are key. If she delivered, she definitely had a shot, and if not for the wonky 3flip in the short, she was definitely placing in the top 3. I don't think Angela was at that big of a disadvantage - the Frogsonice report was very positive about her potential at the event, though of course one report does not give complete credibility.

    Regarding Angela's programs, I do think her LPs are lacking in connecting elements and complexity. Many people thought she was blatantly robbed at the 2001 Nationals, but remember she didn't do a successful combination and her program was a bit empty. Her style and basics are gorgeous, but she did need more difficult programs, including perhaps more difficult spins.

    Her SPs were generally more complex - difficult footwork, in particular - and always a stunning layback.
  18. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

    Don't know the answer to your insightful and specific question BUT I always thought that the SIMPLICITY and ELEGANCE of her layback was awesome. Better than Sarah Hughes', which had a nice free leg, but more of a "commercial" look to her spin overall. Angela's reminded me more of Janet Lynn's. Loved it.
  19. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    A decade ago the US produced the top ranking ladies in the world. Olympic teams from 1984 to 2002 fielded ladies who were all at one point world medallists or more. Now for the first time since 2008, they are sending three women to the Olympics and World Championships next year.

    Hopefully 2014 will produce a medallist for the US.
  20. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

    I don't think the scoring of Cohen at Nationals was political; if anything, the opposite. Her skating was fresh and exciting, with high-quality and innovative spins and step sequences. Most of her signature elements have been copied to death over the last 10 years, but at the time were quite new. The fact that she went on to place 3rd in the short program at the Olympics, with second-place ordinals, backs up the scoring at Nationals.

    Nikodinov did give points away on spins, particularly the very simple combination spin that was often short or just barely made the minimum number of revolutions. That said, her speed and the quality of her jumps were the best in the U.S. at the time, at least to my recollection; I also felt her programs were the most elegant.

    Nikodinov had her opportunity in 2001, when international judges did what the U.S. judges were too afraid to do -- put her ahead of a clean Hughes in the short program. Unfortunately, her meltdown in that free skate coupled with Hughes's (lucky, IMO) bronze medal sealed the deal. Given how Cohen and Hughes skated, each with seven triples, I'm not sure anything other than a miracle could have gotten Nikodinov on the Olympic team.
  21. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Yeah, the whole landscape may have been different had Nikodinov won that bronze medal at Worlds 2001. I agree that Cohen was seen as a breath of fresh air with her spins and spirals (but not footwork in 2002) that the judges overlooked some of her skating skill weaknesses at that time. It's just weird that the judges didn't seem that enamored with Cohen earlier that year (scoring lower than Suguri for comparable performances at GWG, not doing well in the SP) then fell in love with her in SLC. I know she made mistakes at 2002 Worlds, but her placement there behind Suguri seemed more consistent with the rest of that season outside SLC.
  22. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    What is the most triples Nikidinov has ever landed in a LP anyway. Isnt it 5. How many would she have had to land to even realistically have a fighting chance at making the Team assuming both Cohen and Hughes (who skated after her) did the same performances they did, with 7 triples each.
  23. Gabybackhand

    Gabybackhand Member

    Another question for Angela is could she have made a run for the 2006 Olympic team. She was past her prime by then, but even so the U.S women were so much weaker. She did win Skate America 2004 under the new code. Could she have atleast beaten Hughes, if not even Meissner, had she been able to make it to Nationals healthy and competing.
  24. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    Assuming the accident that claimed her mom's life stillhappened? No chance. Angela had several surgeries for third degree burns pre and post-2006 . She could barely spin without pain.

    Assuming the accident never happened, I could see her sneaking in for a sentimental third place finish and making the team when Michelle withdrew. I'd rather have seen the longtime competitor Angela in Torino than Emily Hughes who had barely been on the senior scene at the time.
  25. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    She landed 6 triples at 2001 Nationals. I don't think she ever even attempted 7.

    As to your second question, I think she would need all 6 to have a chance, even though she was the best skater out of Nikodinov, Hughes and Cohen at the time. I think one thing that hurt her chances was that she wasn't attempting (let alone landing) 3/3s.
  26. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Banned Member

    Except for maybe the 2001 Worlds were they were willing to give her the bronze once Maria bombed the qualifying, the judges saw Angela as a second tier top skater at most. Many of you are overrating her potential chances in Salt Lake had she been there. She would never have beaten Irina standing upright, even with a weak performance with only 4 clean triples and super slow or Kwan with only one fall but six clean triples. Maybe skating totally clean she could beat Cohen and Suguri in the long, but when did she ever skate clean. In the short she would be placed no higher than 6th (5th if we consider Hughes out) too even going clean, so that puts her behind Cohen (2nd or 1st in short with Hughes) overall even if she beat her in long. No chance of medal even going clean, and with consistency issues more likely somewhere from 5th to 8th if she had one of her decent outings, and lower if she had one of her not too untypical meltdowns.

    Most important she never was making it there. At Nationals Kwan, Cohen, and Hughes skating as they did and Cohen and Hughes more in favor with the USFSA, and Angela having had a poor grand prix season, there was no hope for Angela to make the team even with the skate of her life there.
  27. kwanoverrated

    kwanoverrated Banned Member

    At Cup of Russia that year Angela skated a clean short and Irina fell in the short program. You know the short where you lose .4 or .5 automatically for falling and probably atleast .3 in extraneous deductions on top of that and Irina was put over Angela still. That is a good indication of Angela's standing in the view of international judges around then, and what her chances of pushing one of 6 triple clean Kwan, 6 triple Cohen (tried a 7th but missed), 7 triple clean Hughes at Nationals off the U.S Olympic team would have been.
  28. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    Unfortunately Angela was never rewarded for her correct jump technique. Earlier in her career she was a very consistent jumper, with good technique. After she developed her artistry she seemed to get the nerves get to her. Still, she deserved marks for what she did better than others like Hughes and Cohen. It particularly bothered me when Hughes was given higher marks than Angela. She had ur, flutz, and a lack of maturity.
  29. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Hughes didnt do a single thing better than Angela on a good day. Even Hughes's few legitimate strong points like her excellent layback spin and very good spirals, Angela was a strong or better in. I agree with the people who said if Angela skated cleanly at Nationals she still would have missed the 2002 Olympic team but that disgusts me, as Angela skating cleanly with 7 triples and losing to Hughes not even trying a triple-triple is a disgusting thing to ever consider happening, and a reflection of how corrupt the sport in many ways is. Angela losing to Hughes at he 2001 Nationals was in itself one of the worst judging moments I have seen in ladies skating the last 15 years.

    I also dont see why Angela should be considered weaker than Cohen although the USFSA and judges clearly did. Angela like Sasha had gorgeous positions and tremendous elegance, basically anything Cohen had in her skating, apart from a little less extreme (but still very good) flexability. On top of that though Angela had far better jumps (when landed), far better basic skating, and Cohen was every bit as inconsistent as Angela was back then. I guess Cohen just had more pizzaz in the judges eyes, more hype, and being younger was an advantage.
  30. alchemy void

    alchemy void #VotePerkovaPOTS!

    Cohen, despite her flaws, had charisma in spades and great choreography that allowed her to project to the judges/audience.

    As much as I loved Nikodinov's basic skating and jumps, she couldn't project her way out of a paper bag at this point in her career. Her 2000 LP to The Mummy (http://youtu.be/aXKJLvxt5nI?t=1m33s) is so freaking boring..which is hard to do with such awesome, powerful music. Also consistently crapping out on her jumps in the second half of the program did her no favors, either.