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Depth of USA Ladies Competing at Nationals in an Olympic Year

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by TheIronLady, Jun 24, 2013.

In which Olympic year did the USA Nationals have the greatest depth of ladies talent?

  1. 1984

  2. 1988

  3. 1992

  4. 1994

  5. 1998

  6. 2002

  7. 2006

  8. 2010

  1. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    In which Olympic year did the USA Nationals have the greatest depth of ladies talent? The video links take you to each skater's nationals free skate. Where no such video is available, the link takes you to a performance close to the time of that event.

    1. Rosalynn Sumners- 1983 World Champion
    2. Tiffany Chin- 1981 World Junior Champion
    3. Elaine Zayak -1982 World Champion, 1981 Worlds Silver

    6. Debi Thomas (future world medalist)
    8. Yvonne Gómez (friend of Brian Boitano who would skate for Spain just so she could compete in Calgary 1988 with him)

    1. Debi Thomas- 1986 World Champion, 1987 Worlds Silver, 1985 Worlds 5th
    2. Jill Trenary - 1987 Worlds 7th
    3. Caryn Kadavy- 1987 Worlds Bronze, 1986 Worlds 8th

    4. Jeri Campbell - talented spinner who could do 3Lz
    5. Tonya Harding (future worlds silver)
    6. Holly Cook (future worlds bronze)
    7. Cindy Bortz - 1987 World Junior Champ
    15. Rory Flack-Burghart (future professional showstopper)

    1. Kristi Yamaguchi - 1991 World Champ, 1990 Worlds 4th, 1989 Worlds 6th
    2. Nancy Kerrigan - 1991 Worlds Bronze
    3. Tonya Harding- 1991 Worlds Silver

    4. Lisa Ervin - 1991 Junior Worlds Silver
    5. Tonia Kwiatkowski (future worlds 31st)
    7. Nicole Bobek - 1991 Junior Worlds 4th
    8. Kyoko Ina - 1987 Junior Worlds 8th (for Japan)
    14. Jessica Mills- 1989 World Junior Champion (and sister of Olympic gymnastics medalist Phoebe Mills)

    1** Tonya Harding 1992 Olympics 4th, 1992 Worlds 6th, 1991 Worlds Silver
    **Harding did not officially finish 1st because she knew her boyfriend/husband whacked Nancy and didn't report it.
    Nancy Kerrigan - 1993 Worlds 5th, 1992 Olympic Silver, 1992 Worlds Silver, 1991 Worlds Bronze
    2. Michelle Kwan - 1994 World Junior Champ
    3. Nicole Bobek - 1993 Junior Worlds 16th, 1991 Junior Worlds 4th

    4. Elaine Zayak - 1984 Worlds Bronze, 1982 World Champion, 1981 Worlds Silver
    5. Tonia Kwiatkowski - 1993 Worlds 31st
    7. Lisa Ervin- 1993 Worlds 13th
    8. Jessica Mills - 1989 World Junior Champion

    1.Michelle Kwan - 1997 Worlds Silver, 1996 World Champion, 1995 Worlds 4th, 1994 Worlds 8th
    2. Tara Lipinski - 1997 World Champion
    3. Nicole Bobek - 1997 Worlds 13th, 1995 Worlds Bronze

    4. Tonia Kwiatkowski - 1996 Worlds 8th
    5. Angela Nikodinov (future 5th at worlds)
    9. Sydne Vogel - 1997 World Junior Champ

    1. Michelle Kwan - 2001, 2000, 1998, & 1996 World Champion; 1998 Olympic Silver; 1999 & 1997 Worlds Silver (ongoing legend)
    2. Sasha Cohen (future Olympic and world medalist)
    3. Sarah Hughes - 2001 Worlds Bronze (and future '02 Olympic Champion)
    4. Angela Nikodinov - 2001 Worlds 5th, 2000 Worlds 9th, 1999 Worlds 12th

    5. Jennifer Kirk - 2000 World Junior Champ
    6. Ann Patrice McDonough - 2001 Junior Worlds Silver

    1. Sasha Cohen- 2005 & 2004 Worlds Silver, 2003 & 2002 Worlds 4th, 2002 Olympics 4th
    2. Kimmie Meissner - 2004 Junior Worlds Silver (future '06 world champ)
    3. Emily Hughes - 2005 Junior Worlds Bronze (and sister of Sarah Hughes)

    4. Katy Taylor - 2004 Junior Worlds Bronze
    5. Beatrisa Liang - 2004 Junior Worlds 6th, 2003 Junior Worlds 4th,
    7. Alissa Czisny - 2005 Junior Worlds 6th

    Michelle Kwan looked in no shape to compete. Also Frank Carroll believes she was not expecting to compete by the time nationals came. With her talent, she would have made the team in this field, but I would not count her as part of the ladies depth in 2006 because she was never going to be ready.

    1. Rachael Flatt - 2009 Worlds 5th, 2008 World Junior Champ
    2. Mirai Nagasu- 2008 Junior Worlds Bronze
    3. Ashley Wagner- 2008 Worlds 16th, 2007 & 2009 Junior Worlds Bronze
    4. Sasha Cohen- 2006 Olympics Silver, 2006 Worlds Bronze, 2005 & 2004 Worlds Silver, 2003 & 2002 Worlds 4th, 2002 Olympics 4th

    5. Christina Gao (future junior worlds 4th)
    7. Beatrisa Liang - Past Junior Worlds 4th (2003)
    9. Emily Hughes - 2006 Olympics 7th, 2007 Worlds 9th, 2006 Worlds 8th
    10. Alissa Czisny- 2009 Worlds 11th, 2007 Worlds 15th
    11. Caroline Zhang - 2007 World Junior Champ, 2008 Junior Worlds Silver
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  2. Vash01

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

    For me it was a toss up between 1992 (Yamaguchi, Harding, Kerrigan- reigning world medallists) and 1998 (Kwan- former world champion, Lipinski- reigning world champion, and quite a few younger skaters including Bobek, Nikodinov Kirk, etc.). A tough choice, but I went for 1998 because besides the top 3, there seemed to be many baby ballerinas on the rise. It seemed like the well would not dry for a long long time. In 1992, I can't think of anyone beyond the top 3; may be Tonia Kwiastkowsky? Michelle Kwan did not compete at the senior level until 1993, I think. May be 2002 was equally strong, with Kwan, Hughes, Cohen, and Nikodinov, but at that time I did not see Hughes or Cohen as OGM contenders.
  3. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    1998 was just Kwan, Lipinski, and Bobek. I think Bobek could have fallen a few times and still beaten Tonia Kwiatkowski, don't you? And Jenny Kirk was not competing seniors yet in 1998 and wasn't in that mix.
  4. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    I voted for 2002 because at their best all top six ladies could have finished in the top ten at the Olympics and all of the top four could have been Olympic medalists.

    2010 stands out for the sheer number of skaters competing who were viable team members. The problem was all of them had weaknesses and none were medal contenders. Cohen's comeback was exciting but unfinished. Nagasu was rushed and hooked on URs. Flatt was so stale and boring in the freeskate that the audience was confused when she won. Wagner is lucky Sasha forgot how to jump because she might have finished fourth otherwise with the weak quality of her programs. Czisny just gave up and did not seem motivated or focused on the jumps. Zhang seemed bitter that the tech panel was her enemy and that her snail-like speed was being properly acknowledged. Emily Hughes competed with vigor, but not with beauty, grace, or impressive skills. Bebe Liang was not relevant either, but like Emily she had a claim to be taken seriously. So the 2010 ladies was a crowded field with about seven different ladies who could have qualified for the two spots, but the picture was not encouraging.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  5. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    For me, 1992 was the most competitive Olympic team, but not the greatest depth.
    And 2002 is the year the USA Nationals had the greatest depth of ladies talent.
  6. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Debi Thomas was so good in 1984. She should have made that Olympic team if it were based only on this long program.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  7. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Thanks for posting. I don't recall ever seeing that performance. I don't remember seeing or hearing about Debi until her breakout 1986 season. Where did she place at Nationals in 1984? Too bad she didn't get to attend the Olympics as one of the team members just to have that experience. She would certainly have been competitive (without the same kind of pressure she faced in 1988).

    I suppose TBTB in U.S. fed simply weren't ready for Debi in 1984. I don't recall her being shown on national television either. Obviously she had talent to burn as well as consistency. Good for her for continuing to battle and for showing that she was too good to dismiss and that she wasn't going away.
  8. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    The OP lists the placements for all the Olympic year nationals. I am not aware that they dismissed Thomas. I am not sure how she did in the figures vis-à-vis Chin and Zayak. She was only 16, and I'm sure Chin had the advantage since she was trying the 3F and was the World Junior Champion in 1981.
  9. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Sure and that was a different scoring system then as well as the old tradition of having to pay your dues. I don't see Debi's Nationals placement in 1984 listed by you, the OP.

    Okay, I just checked Wiki: Debi placed 6th at 1984 U.S. Nationals, so who were all the five who placed in front of her? Roz, Elaine, Tiffany (who else?)
  10. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    It's sixth. See the "6" by her name. :)
  11. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

    I would point out that, in 2002, Bebe Liang was 9th and Alissa Czisny was 11th, having moved up from juniors, where she won silver at junior nationals the year before. And Amber Corwin was a 2x medalist at Four Continents. She placed 8th. None of them were going to contend for the medals, but if we are talking about depth and, in the case of Liang and Czisny, hope for the future, they should be included in the discussion of 2002. Yebin Mok, another promising young skater, was 10th. She would go on to have a good season the following year on the JGP and finish 5th at Junior Worlds behind a fairly mind-boggling field of Yukina Ota, Miki Ando, Carolina Kostner, and Mai Asada. Unfortunately, injuries pretty much derailed her career.
  12. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    No one is losing any sleep from lack of discussion about Amber Corwin.
  13. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    2002 and 2010 were the only years where the competition level outside of the podium did not immediately drop. In fact, those were the years where someone who didn't make the team could realistically make top six at the Olympics.

    Meanwhile the 2010 team was probably the most unpredictable, not in the sense that the level was high, but because they were all so unaccomplished and none was seriously contending.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I was tempted to pick 1998 since there was no much hype of a U.S sweep that year, then again I remembered that was in large part to how weak the European women were around that time, and not so much how great say Bobek ever was (even on her better days like Nationals was still technically limited). 2002 there was less talk of a sweep only since Slutskaya was such a big force then and you also had former World Champion Butyrskaya, but Kwan, Cohen, and Hughes were all extremely strong, and so was Nikidinov who missed the team, and McDonough and Kirk were very promising, and you had solid veterans like Corwin and Gardiner. 1992 you had a super top 3 who had swept the podium the previous year at Worlds, 2 of whom were strong gold medal contenders before the Games, and a 3rd who was a strong medal contender before the Games, but the rest of the field wasnt very good at all. 1984 and 1988 were quite strong, but again the top 3 were far apart after the withdrawals of DeVries and Chin. 2010 was actually one of the deepest pools of U.S lady, just none was that great was all. 2006 had a surprisingly strong top 3 had Kwan competed with Cohen, Kwan, and that years surprise World Champ Meissner, been the team although neither Meissner or Kwan were probably ever serious medal contenders for Turin. 1994 was a joke although had Harding stayed in shape the U.S could have had a decent 1-2 punch at the Olympics.

    I picked 2002.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  15. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Debi making the team would have meant leaving either Chin, their most touted up and comer who skated outstanding at Nationals; or Zayak, a former World Champion, at home. Then again the USFSA was never that high on Elaine and she actually skated quite poorly at Nationals, so it would have been an opportunity for them to leave her out of the picture without creating any controversy for once.
  16. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    I voted for 1998 because Michelle and Tara were both already World Champions (and of course, managed to finish 1-2 at the Olympics). It could be imagined that either of them would become the Olympic champion. Bobek had also won a world bronze and many people thought she had a shot at being on the podium as well.. she did, until she didn't skate well.
  17. mustafinabars

    mustafinabars Member

    Why is 1994 and 2006 and 2010 on the poll. Is that to be funny maybe? It is an insult to compare those years to the super deep years for U.S women of all the others.
  18. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Not such a joke since each one got one vote ! lol
  19. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    :lol: Well, remember Strawberry Tango?

    Anyway, I thought 2002 was the overall strongest Olympics Nationals for ladies of these options. This takes into account the overall field, rather than who were medal competitors. Based on who could content to medal, 1992 and 1998 were markedly stronger. But 2002 was outstanding otherwise - clean SPs from seven of the top 8. There were several strong FPs as well, including Kirk's 6-triple free skate that got her fifth. I think it's important to consider the shorts when determining the result as well. The 2002 short was phenomenal.
  20. chanunderrated

    chanunderrated Member

    What do you base that one. 1992 the women came 1-3-4 at the Olympics. 1998 they came 1-2-17. 2002 they came 1-3-4. To me 2002 looks just as strong as the other 2 just even looking at the medal competitors, in addition to having the much more depth through the whole field you refer to. I voted 2002 easly.