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Did Bonaly deserve any of of the 93, 94 and 95 worlds?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Lnt175, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

    I disagree. Figure skating is what I call a "performance sport" - exhibiting showmanship, connecting to the audience and presenting a relationship between the choreography you are doing and the music you are skating to is all part of the package. When it's done right, you forget that you are watching an athletic event.
  2. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

    Goats are really fugly though, aren't they? I mean, they're not the most beautiful creatures on the planet by any stretch. And in any case, Butyrskaya won Worlds three years before the unfugly Slutskaya.

    Yes, Chen really should have had a new SP for the 1993 Worlds. But who knows what difficulties she faced when back home, little more than a child, probably without much money, and with a weak Fed? As for the Nausicaa programme, I agree that it did feel as though she wasn't really mature enough for it in 1993, and didn't know how to make the best of the music. Her marks, though, also reflected the idea that the judges weren't prepared to have a Chinese winner yet. By the time she skated it the next year at Olympics, radiant in her sparkling dress, she interpreted the music with both power and delicacy, and at last the judges met her at least halfway.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
    falling_dance likes this.
  3. leapfrogonice

    leapfrogonice Active Member

    Never forget her poor sportsmanship during 1994. Obviously tremendously disappointed but honestly, that kind of forgiveness from the Japanese crowds is more a reflection of their love and respect for the sport than for anything that Surya said or did, before, during or after the medal ceremony.
  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Right. Even Yuka Sato's reaction during and after the ceremony is pretty telling. In her manleywoman interview, said that she wasn't angry or anything that Surya was "ruining her moment" but instead, Sato said she couldn't help but just feel bad for Surya because as an athlete, she know how disappointing not winning can be. Sato said something along the lines that Surya was obviously very upset, and one couldn't help but feel for her. Maybe Sato was super angry at the time and is acting humble now, but I think the fact that she openly said it (and the way she said it in the interview) makes me believe she was sincere about it.
  5. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

  6. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I think people are able to separate the two issues. Even if you feel she was right, was her podium behavior appropriate considering there were two other skaters getting medals at the time. Bonaly acted like a spoiled brat, and I'm happy with the invention of Youtube, because people can judge for themselves and see whether it really was close between Bonaly and Sato. I understand her disappointment, especially when her mother feeding things she wants to hear in her ear, but Bonaly seemed to lack enough self-awareness to understand where some of the criticism was coming from. Yes, conforming sucks and one shouldn't have to fit into the generic mold, but then there are things in figure skating that should be respected and one of them is skating skills.
  7. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    Yet, that rule of thumb didn't seem to apply to Oksana at the 1993 Worlds or 1994 Olympics. The lack of consistency in how skating back then was judged is truly mind boggling
    Coco and (deleted member) like this.
  8. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    That's true. I guess for some reason, Baiul was seen as having better skating skills than Bonaly. Even the commentary at the time talked about her "having it all" including, but not limited to speed, flow, edge quality. Sandra Bezek gushed about that. Of course, we now know Oksana didn't even know what a 3-turn was. At least Oksana had her "artistry" and musicality and primadonna antics (taking time to before her skating until the music tells her she's ready) to fall back on (plus big jumps, and the amazing new donut spin). Bonaly didn't have any of that going for her. The perception was that all she had was muscled jumps. However, I do think her spins were quite good but overlooked.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that whatever shortcomings Baiul had as a skater in terms of actual skating skills, they didn't seem as lacking in comparison to Bonay's shortcomings in that area. That may have been the perception anyway. However, if we accept the idea that Baiul was better than Bonaly in that aspect but both were poor at skating skills, then they both did well as Baiul won Worlds and the Olympics while Bonaly medaled at Worlds multiple times, won Euros multiple times, and placed in the top 4 at the Olympics.

    I don't feel bad for Bonaly in 1994 because Sato was lightyears better than her in skating aspects (and her tech was there that night too), but I did think she most likely was robbed in 1993 and definitely in the 1998 SP. That was one of my fave SPs that season.
  9. JJS5056

    JJS5056 Well-Known Member

    I am genuinely curious- can you name examples from Oksana's programs that demonstrated poor skating skills?

    Bonaly's running forward across the ice to gather speed, short and jerky stroking, telegraphed jumps, shallow edges and poor runout were clear examples of a lack of mastery over the blade. I fail to see anything close to as jarring an example in Baiul's skating.

    I also disagree that Sato was suddenly judged differently in 1994 than she had been previously. Had she not bombed the short, she would've easily defeated Bonaly in Lillehamer and challenged Chen for bronze. Prior to that, she lacked the full set of triples, but still placed 4th in 1993 with just 4 triples, and she was a World junior champion with respectable showings at major internationals throughout the early 90s. Yuka's skills were always appreciated and rewarded; 1994 Worlds just happened to be one of the only times she skated cleanly with top difficulty.
  10. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Well Baiul had strong stroking (butt sticking out but whatever) and maintained good speed but she never displayed much change in direction, one footed skating, or much complexity when it comes to edges or steps and instead spent a lot of time on centre ice posing and dancing.

    So it wasn't so much that she demonstrated poor skating skills but she didn't / her programs didn't allow her to display more good skating skills.
  11. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    See, I could understand that as the general judging perception, but then Bonaly beat Baiul at Europeans in both 1993 and 1994. In 1993, they replicated those same performances at worlds and the places decisively switched. In 1994, Bauil gave a performance that was marginally better than the one she had in Lillehammer, yet still finished second to Bonaly. However, a month later she beat a clean Kerrigan by the skin of her teeth. She also messed up her SP combo in 1994 and finished ahead of a clean Surya, whereas skaters like Chen and Sato, who were considered to have stronger skating skills than both, made the same errors as Oksana and finished lower :confused:.
    I enjoyed Bonaly and Bauil immensely, the 1993 ladies podium is my favorite grouping of skaters in any order,and I am very grateful that I don't have to hear the words, Nancy Kerrigan; Olympic Champion :scream: ; however, the judging from those years was wildly arbitrary. I can understand Surya would feel fed up; it seemed as though she waited her turn.

    It's not so much that her skating skills were poor, it's that her construction and skating skills were very lacking. She did nothing but three turns in her programs, had no footwork in her LP, and a very basic footwork sequence in her SP , no MITF other than a brief spiral in her LP. While her edging flow and stroking were stronger than Bonaly's, Bonaly actually managed to do more in terms of transitions, connecting steps and MITF despite her shortcomings. I loved Oksana at the time, and I enjoy her performances still in retrospect, but sadly, her skating really doesn't stand the test of time .

    Oh well, at least she beat Nancy...
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  12. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I think we all understand the fed up feeling as well, especially when you consider skaters probably weren't sure what they had to do to win the big one and were getting mixed signals. I just think Bonaly making a fool out of herself on the podium and taking all the attention with her tantrum and crying fit was incredibly immature, unsportsmanlike, and could have been upsetting for the other women on the podium who she took attention away from. That said, it was incredibly entertaining, so I don't know where I "truly" stand on that act, ha ha.

    I always wonder why there was such a discrepancy between the results in Euros and the results at Worlds and the Olympics during that period. Maybe having North American skaters, like Kerrigan really upset the apple cart and the "bloc" or just the judges had to pick which skater should beat Kerrigan...and Baiul just seemed like the better choice. It wouldn't be the first time where we see a skater hierarchy from a domestic or regional competition change (with similar skates by those skaters) once outside competition comes into the equation.

    I do think the Baiul hype and the skating world buzzing about this Ukrainian girl from nowhere who simply dazzled drastically helped Baiul at 1993 Worlds. Maybe she turned it on again in Lillehamar. Or maybe the politick was always to give Bonaly Euros as a consolation (like how GPF can be seen some times) and give Baiul the big prize.
  13. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    First of all, she must be rather delusional to think the only reason she didn't win was due to rotten judging instead of her own shortcomings. There are skaters who like to just focus on their strengths and there are skaters who like to work hard to fix their weaknesses. Bonaly looked much more like the former. None of Baiul, Sato or Chen was attempting 3/3s during those years but they were all complete packages as skaters - Bonaly never had anything more than jumps but she just kept going for the big tricks, ignoring the music and often changing the programs midway. If she spent some more time working on edges and polishing her programs, she wouldn't like so much like she didn't know what she was doing on the ice most of the time.
  14. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Well, can you blame her with a mother like hers? I do think, however, that Surya liked that her mom fed her such a skewed version of things. I some times wonder if Mama Bonaly was to blame for her lack of self-awareness to improve her skating earlier, or if it was all Surya and Mama Bonaly was just trying to be a good, understanding mother protecting her child from the evils of the federation (which we know are capable of ruining the psyche of skaters). I also wonder if they didn't have some sort of social statement they were trying to promote with all the non-conformity. Those quotes from the newspaper article caseyedwards posted seemed like Bonaly didn't like the idea that she had to change anything about herself to get better results.
  15. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

    Agreed about Baiul she wasn't given anything to display in that LP. It was almost like an exhibition program with great speed. She spent more time dancing than actually skating. Of course as a pro she did alot of that too, but did have some pro programs that at least showcased her skating much better (her Meditation program for example). I do think she was capable of alot more, but according to the rules at the time it was obviously enough.

    Yes it doesn't make much sense that Bonaly skating great at worlds, yet also doing the same to win Euros, but the judges just didn't want to give her the world title that year. Baiul also benefitted greatly from the fact that Yamaguchi and Ito retired, Harding was on her way out, Kerrigan and Chouinard bombed, Bonaly being lowballed in Prague from biased former Soviet bloc countries, Sato not having all the jumps or consistency yet, and Chen had poor federation support and was seen as a second tier skater at that time. She came around at exactly the right time and seen as something fresh and exciting on the skating scene.
  16. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    Hmmm back then most skaters did nothing more than 3 turns and mohawks. Only ice dancers did the more complicated footwork. That is coming from a skater I know who used to compete internationally back in the 80s and 90s.
  17. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

    1993- OMG...she should have won. That clean opening combination alone...wowzers
    1994- Nah
    1995-Thats a tough one.

    I still think her rogue, i'm going to do this my way attitude cost her tremendously. By the time she reached out to Tarasova for help, it was too late. You cant just ignore the judges and do whatever the hell you want and expect to win. They couldnt have made that clearer to her. If she jumped as strongly in 1993 as she did and STILL didnt win, and STILL didnt change her presentation and basic skating skills, i cant blame a judge for not rewarding her. Midori Ito had questionable presentation however at least she actually stroked and had recognizable step sequences...and crazy jumps lol.

    Surya would have gotten further had she LISTENED!!!!
  18. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    And that's what Bonaly did in her step sequence. So while she had one and Baiul didn't, it really wasn't such a technical leap. Chen displayed much better variety and complexity in her steps and Sato showed GREAT flow. Bonaly had none of that going for her.

    Did you mean 1993? I remember Baiul skated way better at Worlds than at Euros. And in any event she was relatively unkown at Euros, but by ther time Worlds rolled around she was already a reigning European medalist. :p

    Anyways, I pretty much agree with the majority of the judges all three years (as I said, I understand giving it to Bonaly in 1993, but also understand Baul or even Chen winning), both on skating and the obligation to send a message. The top skaters had just turned pro and the next in line weren't good enough. What the judges preferred would probably dictate how the next batch of up and comers would focus on. If they gave Bonaly the title in 1993, she would have even less reason to work on her shortcomings. Their treatment of Bonaly from 1993 to 1995 and of Kwan in 1995 probably caused the existence of the epic battle in 1996. If Kwan had medalled in 1995, we may never have seen the 1996 Kwan. It's almost the same reason they didn't give it to Slutskaya until they were left with no choice (Kwan's short program mistake in 2002).
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  19. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Really? 5 big clean triples, a fantastic program with wonderful construction and artistry, on-form spins (rare for her), polished delivery and great basics, vs front loaded jumps including cheated 3/3 and 2footed 3lutz, messy spins and aimlessly wandering on the ice for the whole second half of the program, all done with below average basics, artistry and execution?

    For those who feel it was close or that Bonaly should have won 1995, please do share why you feel that way. I genuinely want to know. Thank you.
  20. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    I agree with this. And I think she should have won in 1993.
  21. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member


    I'm glad Baiul beat her in '93, to me Oksana deserved to win not only due to superior artistry but for the mere fact that in between the jumps she could actually skate where as Bonaly could not. I'm glad that someone with such poor basics never won a Worlds or Heaven forbid an Olympics and it makes me ill to think she even came close. Bonaly always looked like she was skating on double runners to me between her muscled jumps. She telegraphed her jumps, you could see them coming a mile away, she had a weird way of stopping, braking, turning and THEN leaping. Those jumps were okay in the air but she had no runout, no proper edgework or technique AT ALL. The only time I ever liked her was when I saw her live in exhibition and she did her famous back walkover. Other than that I was never impressed with her. And oh yes, when she gave her final FU to the international judges at the Olympics. That was cool.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  22. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Not really delusional, since she would lose at worlds to skaters she had defeated at Europeans when everyone's delivery was not markedly changed. Also, other skaters who didn't address their shortcomings or even fulfill requirements didn't seem to have that held against them.

    And I hate when people call Baiul a 'complete package.' She could barely do a sit spin and couldn't handle complex programs in competition! Charming, charismatic, speedy, musicality galore, quality of movement to die for, but not a complete package as a competitive skater.
  23. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Well, Oksana Baiul has never done any other turn than a 3-turn. I can't believe that someone with such a poor variety of steps won Worlds and Olys. :p
  24. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    Bonaly could have received the first ordinal at 1993 worlds free skate on the basis of her seniority. That seemed to be a category of merit at that time. It might still be now, but as much today is determined by your reputation with the technical panel.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
  25. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    For one, Baiul fell at Euros and messed up the final 2axel but was much cleaner at Worlds, landing 5 clean triples. But yes, Baiul should have been penalized somewhat for not having certain "required" / "expected" elements in the free. Were there such requirements back in 1993 and 1994? Then again someone brought up the fact that she did them in the short, so it is possible that the judges thought it wasn't like she was totally incapable of doing combination jumps and spins and footwork and therefore didn't penalize her as much as they should have. I am not saying this is the right thing to do, I am saying this possibly happened.

    Bottom line is, between Baiul who had shown that she could do more but didn't do them, and Bonaly who in the judges eyes were a much more inferior skater no matter how much she followed the rules to the letter, I understand why they went with the potential.

    Complete in the sense that she wasn't significantly and glaringly weak in anything the way Bonaly was. Back in those days no one was really doing any difficult choreography besides Chen, so she wasn't 'lacking'. By the way, Chen's sit spin was much worse.
  26. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Baiul was an interesting case in that there were so many things lacking in her actual program- jump combinations, variety of basic spins (either simple or difficult variations of them), no footwork sequence, barely a spiral sequence, almost no field moves, or good in between steps, and it was a cheesy and not that well thought out program with cheesetastic music. Yet in her actual abilities as a skater she was great when you think about it. Huge and terrific jumps when she landed them, her best solo jumps often rivaled Hardings in quality and power which none of her "rivals" including Kerrigan or Chen (and certainly not Bonaly) even came close to. Some beautiful spins like her catchfoot spins. Style, personality, ability to hit great positions and have great line, great speed and good running edges. I mean when you think of her just as her abilities as a skater and not how they are all put together. When one thinks of the quality of jumps she does do, the quality of her elements she does do, and her artistic potential and qualities, she is even a much better skater than say Kristi Yamaguchi, although it isnt put together into a whole program anywhere near as well which is why she would probably not come close to Kristi (or a strong Midori, a strong Kwan in later years, etc...) in a head to head competition. She definitely did not fulfill anywhere close to her potential as a skater, but the raw skills were there and far superior to Bonaly.

    So when I think about it more I can actually understand her wins at the 93 Worlds and 94 Olympics more than I originally did, especialy the 93 Worlds. While it wasnt all put together into a long program that well, her ability to do huge quality jumps, to hit great positions, to skate musicality and beautifully, to do some beautiful spins, are far superior to either Bonaly or Kerrigan so much so it can overcome that it wasnt put together to anywhere near her potential. Against a stronger skater it wouldnt be enough, but it makes sense it was enough to win in that weak era. When one thinks of say her Swan Lake program at the 94 Olympics (a program that does showcase her huge potential and abilities as a skater much more), and put her triple lutz from her long program into the short program, and it simply blows away anything Kerrigan or Bonaly could ever do.
  27. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    It also helps that you have people like Tatiana Tarasova saying that Sasha Cohen was one of the most talented skaters since Oksana Baiul in that 2003 Nationals fluff piece. Baiul also had one thing Bonaly would never have and that's Eastern European support from respectable professionals and experts. When you have people know should know what they're talking about waxing poetic about your skating talent, it's hard to argue against it in real life. Fans on the internet, however, is a totally different story.
  28. alchemy void

    alchemy void blowing kisses with bitchface

    I'm so tired hearing about "Baiul only could do a 3-turn". You guys are looking at 1993-1994 programs with 2013 IJS criticisms. Baiul's 1993 win wasn't controversial at all at the time and her 1994 Olympic win wasn't very controversial either (she beat an American and Scott Hamilton, of all people, did minimal wuzrobbing). This speaks volumes to the fact that the things Baiul didn't/couldn't do like MITF, good footwork, poor program construction, etc didn't matter much AT ALL in this era. Later on in 6.0 and especially today, they matter a hell of a lot more.
    TheIronLady and (deleted member) like this.
  29. kuzytalent

    kuzytalent Banned Member

    There is a case for any of Baiul, Chen, or Bonaly winning the 93 Worlds. Probably not Chen since her short program, while clean, was not good enough that year compared to the others. Kielllmann from Germany you could even argue winning the free skate portion but she was 11th in the short.

    Bonaly at the 94 Worlds deserved 5.6 technically and 5.3 in presentation. Sato deserved 5.9, 5.9. She blew away Bonaly that day in everyway. Bonaly had big mistakes and a poor overall performance that day.

    Bonaly's best case is the 95 Worlds. Her skate was good enough for 5.9 technically and 5.8 for presentation. It was her most artistic performance ever and her jumps this time were great and lots of difficulty. Chen I would give 5.7 technically and 5.9 for presentation. Kwan 5.8, 5.8.

    So Bonaly would win the 95 Worlds overall. Maybe but not for sure win in 93. No way winning in 94.
  30. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    No she didn't. She should have been destroyed on the technical mark due to absolutely atrocious basic skating.