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Can you name a sport that people did as well in the olden days as nowadays?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by just tuned in, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. just tuned in

    just tuned in Well-Known Member

    Can you name a sport that people did as well in the olden days as nowadays?

    My question is motivated by the films of Laurence Owen and the Dineens at the 1961 championships. (Thanks to Floskate for posting on Youtube.)

    I don't mean to be irreverent, but from the glowing way the elder statesmen have reminisced about Maribel V. Owen's teaching methods and keen understanding of the technical aspects of the sport, I frankly expected more from her protégés than botched double jumps. Perhaps the shallow stroking and low leg lines were the style back then? Interestingly, the scoring (generally in the 4.5-5.0 range) seemed appropriately restrained.

    As per the Olympic motto, today's top skaters are more athletic and (I know this is subjective) are more dramatic and compelling performers than their 1961 counterparts.

    I wonder if there are any sports where this does not hold true.
  2. Lanna

    Lanna Well-Known Member

    The first triple jump in international competition by a man was Dick Button in 1952, which was a loop, and the first triple toe loop was '64, I think. The first in women's were later than the first in men. What were you expecting? :confused:

    Personally, I've been amazed by the pair skating I've seen from the '61 team. Those jumps together were amazing.
  3. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    let`s talk and (deleted member) like this.
  4. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    It's important to look at those double jumps v. what had been done in the sport prior to that time. Context, in athletics, is important. After all, it's one thing to do a quad today -- it is very hard, yes. But at least you're not *inventing* the jump. There is established technique that you can learn and rely upon. Back then, quads didn't exist. Some of the triples possibly had never been done before, or at least not by women. You've got to see the skaters in context.

    The first double axel wasn't landed in comp until 1948 (Button). The first double-double combo was 1949 (Button). The first triple wasn't landed until 1952 (Button). And back in 1952, many in skating thought that a triple jump was not humanly possible - absolutely could not be done. So think of it relative to the times - a triple was not just hard to do; it was literally unbelievable. So doubles? Yeah, they were hard. And a double-double combo that included an axel, as Laurance did in that video? I'd imagine that was one heck of a thing in ladies' skating.

    And back in the time we're discussing, a *significant* amount of a skater's time wasn't spent on jumps - as jumping made up only a very small part of your total score. It was spent on figures, which were the majority of your score at each competition.

    A lot of the style you see in those old films, re: bent leg and etc., was influenced by the positions needed to do figures well. And yes, styles do change over time - what was considered artistically pleasing back then might not be so today.

    In general, all competitive sports are significantly different today than in the olden days, not least because of improvements in equipment and additional research and learning re: training techniques. It's also about what's valued - back in the 1960's, figures were valued. They were the main part of a skater's score. Not jumps. Figures were the emphasis of the sport, so when a person, today, talks about how amazing the skaters back then were - look at the skater's footwork, watch their figures.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  5. Lanna

    Lanna Well-Known Member

  6. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

    Baseball, maybe? It took a whole lot of steroid use to break some of the longstanding records. And there's not much style that can change when it comes to hitting a ball. Bat materials can change and pitching can change a bit though. In a similar vein, maybe golf hasn't changed too much.

    And of course, no horse is topping Secretariat any time soon.
  7. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Darts, I think. Probably horseshoes.

    The problem with comparing in most sports is that the fundamental equipment has changed so very much. Gymnastics is hardly the same sport that it was in 1950; the equipment for women is tremendously different: sprung floors, fiberglass poles on uneven bars rather than solid wood, and the bars themselves are far further apart than in 1950. The vaulting horse is now a table. Balance beams are now padded and sueded, rather than being the polished wood that they were in my youth.
  8. Skate Talker

    Skate Talker Replaced the display under my name

    Hockey. In fact I would make a case for it being much better in "the olden days". Then there was more skill and less fighting.
  9. AliasJohnDoe

    AliasJohnDoe Headcase Addict

    Curling? :D
  10. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    Most definitely. The only thing that has changed is the equipment, and there's not that much you can do with a set of darts other than change the metal, the point, or the barrel shape. The technique is pretty much the same as it has been for years, and since it doesn't require Herculean strength so much as hand-eye coordination, there's not much that can be done to improve upon raw talent and practice. Lots and lots and lots of practice.
  11. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    And beer?:)
  12. skipaway

    skipaway Well-Known Member

    Technology has alot to do with the advance of athletes in sport. For example, look at Tennis and Golf ....the wooden rackets/clubs that were used in the matches and compare them to today's materials. Today's rackets/clubs give advantages to the players that the past players did not have. Put a current racket/club in the hands of Bjorn Borg/Rod Laver or Bobby Jones/Ben Hogan and they would have been equal to or better than our champions today.
  13. Cyn

    Cyn Well-Known Member

    :lol: And that, too. Back when I used to do tournaments, though, tequila usually worked better :shuffle: :D .
  14. Vash01

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

    Poker :)
  15. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    Please keep in mind that 70% of the score back then was compulsory figures. Can you say Trixie Schuba? I much prefer the spins (flying sits, layback, delayed axels) of yesteryear. It was so refreshing NOT to see someone straining to grab their blade and yank it netherward.

    Back to topic...Archery? Equestrian events? Polo? Rugby?

    also, steroids have ruined many sports in my mind. I love watching the old clips of Babe Ruth and others. Remember when it was thought impossible to run under a 4 minute mile? Once it was broken, everyone could - even high schoolers!
  16. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

    Yeah, archery and equestrian were two that popped into my mind but even then I bet there are improvements via bow equipment and nutrition for horses. So darts it is!
  17. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Bowling... the average score hasn't increased that much despite better equipment, use of elbow and wrist stabilizers, and consistent oiling of the lanes.

    As for skating, I'm old enough to remember how figure skates were constructed in the 50s and 60s. There was very little support, so the stress on the ankles and shins was probably 100% more than it is today. The landing had to be very precise for the skater to support it and come out with some flow. It's not that the skaters didn't have the physical ability to jump higher and get more rotations, it's that the equipment worked best when the jump was more "out" than "up", lessening the stress on landing.
  18. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    Netherward = downward...is that what you meant?

    Definitely archery, probably fencing/swordfighting too. And I'm not sure the different forms of wrestling are improved from the past.
  19. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

    Netherward = watching an American male pair skater in the required spiral sequence ;)
  20. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    You've got to hand it to Uncle Dick! He may drive some of us bonkers as a commentator, but he really is a legend.
  21. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    Another thing I notice is that the skaters from those days all do beautiful leaning straight legged spread eagles. So gorgeous. No butt eagles or flat up and down positions with bent knees. Apart from Cassar, Wylie, Boitano and a few others, 1961 spread eagles were much more beautiful than modern day ones.

    Speed is another thing. Without all the jumps and complex elements, the skaters retain their speed or even build through the program. Today's complex elements really slow many skaters downs.

    I also loved the pivot and reverse spread eagle combinations of Bradley Lord - perhaps it is simple as opposed to today's footwork, but sometimes less is more.
  22. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    Forget the jumps, you'd think without worrying about triples, skaters would have more speed, interesting footwork, complex connecting steps between elements, fast centered spins, better crossovers, deeper edges, but watching Laurance's FS, all I see is slow and cautious skating, really poor spins, poor execution of the doubles, very bland choreography, a few 3-turns and a nice spread eagle. So yeah, underwhelming :p

    I gotta say I actually laughed out loud when Dick said "this is an interesting Camel" :lol: It's mean, I know :slinkaway but he's gotta know that not everyone watching would know that a camel is the name of a spin!
    El Rey and (deleted member) like this.

    PEKINGMOO New Member

    True. Nadia Comaneci was capable of doing a double back on a hard, spring-less floor covered only by a thin mat (1976 American Cup) - which IMO requires a completely different technique of propelling your body into the air compared with what is required on today's overly sprung floors.

    ^^^ This! With skating, the boots and blades have changed in ways that facilitate landing triples & quads, but I believe inhibit things like toe point, certain positions, and some deep edges we see from past skaters.

    Equipment changes do change technique.
  24. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    No program can be that bland which concludes with a spin to indicate that the program symphony's "hero" has just died by guillotine.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  25. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Boots again. I could do spread eagles easily in the old style boots. When I started skating again in modern boots, I couldn't move my foot and ankle enough in the boot to get the right angles.
  26. Lainerb

    Lainerb New Member

    Ultra distance running perhaps? I am not talking about marathons here, but rather any distance 50 miles plus.
  27. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

    Fair enough, lets just call it "kinda bland" ;)
  28. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    OK. :D

    Bland or not, I still enjoyed that performance, which I say as someone who doesn't much care for old school ladies' skating.
  29. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

    The Jump categories in athletics really don't improve consistently over time... it's more a matter of when an exceptional athlete turns up. Bob Beamon's 8,90 is rarely matched today.
  30. pat c

    pat c Well-Known Member

    Horse racing, steeple and flat.

    Discus? Javelin? wrestling?