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Greatest comeback from adversity to win a world or Olympic medal?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    What was the greatest comeback from adversity by a skater(s) to win a world or Olympic medal? Two that come to mind for me are Joannie Rochette winning Olympic bronze in 2010 shortly after the death of her mother, and Chen Lu coming back to win bronze at the 1998 Olympics after two disastrous seasons of problems with injuries, loss of form, and problems with her coach and her Federation. She was in such poor form during 1996/97 that she only finished 25th in the SP at 1997 Worlds and did not even qualify for the FS. The following season, as China were not eligible to send a ladies skater to the Olympics, she had to qualify by entering 3 minor tournaments (winning 1 and finishing 4th and 3rd in the others). Hence, her bronze medal at the 1998 Olympics was very hard earned.
  2. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

    Irina Slutskaya at the 2005 world championships. She landed a crazy 3 lutz-3 loop after being bedridden due to heart surgery and her mother being sick. It was the best performance of her career and it was done in front of a roaring home crowd, so you can imagine the pressure
    julieann and (deleted member) like this.
  3. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    I agree about Irina. Also, Nancy's comeback from both a meltdown at '93 worlds and the "great whack" makes her silver unusual, IMO. Are those who returned to competition from "pro" or "show skating", such as G & G in '94 or Plushy in '10 included?
  4. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

    I wouldn't really consider coming back to competition after being off or competing in pro comps to really be an adversity. I'm sure it's difficult to get back into top competition shape but I wouldn't quite consider it an adversity, at least not in the sense I'm of thinking of.

    ETA: Yay! My 3,000th post. :D
  5. pani

    pani Well-Known Member

    G-G 94 OG.
  6. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

  7. taf2002

    taf2002 zexy demon

    Rudy Galindo's world bronze at his 1st & only world appearance. I was so happy for him. (IMO it should have been silver but you can't have everything.)
  8. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Thinking of witty user title and coming up blank

    Thanks! :)
  9. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    Well, it was a comeback, but there wasn't really any adversity to overcome. She did have a baby, I guess, but that was a couple years earlier. If we are going to count Gordeeva then I guess we also have to count Navka.

    I was thinking maybe Baiul winning the Olympics on painkillers after being injured (needing stitches) in a practice collision the day before.
    Vash01 and (deleted member) like this.
  10. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    Several skaters come to mind who overcame diseases/physical deformities: Tenley Albright (polio), Scott Hamilton (Schwachman syndrome), Kristi Yamaguchi (club foot), Elaine Zayak (lost part of her foot in a lawnmower accident).
  11. Vash01

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


    That was hardly an adversity. They were skating as pros after the 1990 worlds and decided to come back as eligibles.

    Although it was not in a competition, I consider Ekaterina Gordeeva's solo skate at Sergei's celebration of life, one of the greatest comebacks.


    Elena Berezhanaya- returning to pairs skating after her horrible accident that temporarily paralyzed her, and winning the 1998 Olympic silver, less than 2 years after the accident.

    ITA about Irina, Joannie, Chen Lu and Rudy.

    I would even add Zhang & Zhang's Olympic silver medal after her horrible fall during the skate (but that may not fit into this thread, right?)
  12. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Nancy Kerrigan's comeback was the most dramatic, because it was like we were there just a few minutes after the whack happened. And then Nancy and "Whyyyyyyyyyyyyy?" were all over the news and papers, so there was an immediacy to it that we couldn't/didn't get from Irina's or B/S's stories.
  13. jobelle

    jobelle Member

    Has anyone mentioned Shen/Zhao yet? A few of their medals come to mind ... 2003 Worlds when Shen injured her ankle in practiced and skated the LP with it numb!

    Also their comeback from Zhao's tendon injury to win a bronze at the 2006 Olympics with very little preparation.
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  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    I was balling my eyes out watching that on TV. I haven't viewed that performance again since then.

    I guess MK Nationals 2003 LP was sort of a comeback. It was definitely emotional for her and the fans because of SLC.

    Todd Eldridge also regained his National titles after a few seasons of supar performances.
  15. Habs

    Habs Well-Known Member

    I would add Kurt Browning coming back from a serious back injury to win the world title in 1993.
  16. easilydistracte

    easilydistracte Geezette

    The first skaters that came to mind for me, especially their 2006 Olympic bronze at Torino.
  17. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    Shizuka Arakawa winning world gold, dropping to 9th next worlds, coming back and winning Olympic gold. She had an up and down career before winning her first world medal.

    Philippe Candeloro won his second Olympic medal after 2 years of injury and poor performance.
  18. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Irina Slutskaya has had a number of comebacks. Comeback from a poor season to win silver at the 98 Worlds. A comeback from a poor season, bad short program, and bad fall in practice, to nearly winning the LP phase at the 1997 Worlds. A comeback from a 3 year slump that hit its apex when she missed the 1999 World team and had many writing her off, to winning the Grand Prix final, Europeans, and going to Worlds as the favorite for the first time but finishing 2nd. Then of course her comeback from a major illness to her 2nd World title in Moscow and 2nd Olympic medal in Turin. I know she wasnt everyones cup of tea but definitely a fighter who stood up to adversity.
  19. Ares

    Ares Guest

    First thought when I read the title
  20. The Accordion

    The Accordion Well-Known Member

    I would also add coming back AGAIN after all of that in 2010!
  21. walei

    walei Well-Known Member

    Agree with the above. Not the greatest but I want to add Bourne and Kraatz to the list. After their major dumpage at the 1999 (?) GPF and Shae Lynn's surgery they changed coach and built back up to become World Champs.
  22. love_skate2011

    love_skate2011 Well-Known Member

    first that came in my mind too was Irina Slutskaya :)
  23. gk_891

    gk_891 Well-Known Member

    This may or may not count since there are so many different stories as to what had happened but some may count Grishuk & Platov's victory at the 1997 Europeans and Worlds as overcoming adversity. One version of the story that I had heard was that Natalia Linichuk really wanted to get rid of them after 1996 and push Krylova & Ovsiannikov to the 1998 Olympic gold. And after the 1996 Worlds, she basically left Oksana and Evgeni on their own and so Oksana and Evgeni trained by themselves and created their own programs until Tatiana Tarasova took them under their wings shortly before Europeans. However, I've heard other variations of this particular story where it's not particularly clear as to who left who so who knows.

    Maybe also Klimova & Ponomarenko at the 1992 Olympics? They had overcome an extremely rocky relationship with their coach Natalia Dubova to the extent where they had to leave her for Tarasova, a steroid scandal the previous year and losing their world title to the Duchesnays (and then competing against the Duchesnays at the Olympics in their home country no less). I guess neither G/P or K/P are quite as dramatic as Nancy Kerrigan, Lu Chen, Irina Slutskaya, etc but they could still potentially count
  24. Moka-Ananas

    Moka-Ananas Man's Ruin

    Elena Sokolova in 2002/2003 after having been off the Russian team for 5 years. That was really an impressive comeback.