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Katarina Witt-What did you really think about her?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by TheGirlCanSkate, May 18, 2012.

  1. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    Fierce competitor? Mediocre skater? I'm new to watching skating - I remember seeing a couple skating clips in the past but yesterday was the first time I saw her in an interview clip.
  2. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    As a kid in the 80's I LOVED her. There were many better skaters out there at the same time but none of them could put it together the way she could when it really mattered and everything was on the line. Amazing competitor and her beauty and charisma were undeniable.
  3. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    I think the first time I saw any Olympic skating was during the Harding scandal. We had just moved to OR and she trained at the local mall so it was something everyone was watching.

    Last year, I saw a clip on "worst skating music" of Katarina doing a routine to The Muppets and thought she was fun to watch, but the interview I saw yesterday made her...not very likable as a person.

    I was surprised how that will color my view of Katarina now.
  4. Cherub721

    Cherub721 YEAH!

    She was the bomb, basically. Like an ice dancer, but skating singles.... very few ladiezzz skaters have ever been so diverse, interesting, and captivating. She could interpret anything. She had an awesome and funny personality too - not PC, but never mean. I love her blog.

    eta: I just saw your above post... what was the interview that made you think she was not likeable?
  5. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I was too young, so, of course, I was amazed by her palmare. Plus everybody was saying she was THE skater.
    Actually, I'm not fond of her skating, but I admire her for her presence and the fact that she can sell anything with charisma.
  6. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    She was a fierce competitor and generally the best the 6.0 figures factor placement competition format would allow. She was helped a lot by her looks when other conditions were not so favorable, such as a NHK 1987, when she was less competitive than Trenary would've been at 1991 Worlds but still won.
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  7. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    I actually preferred her pro performances to her eligible programs, which I found sort of boring, but it might be because they're dated. I can't really comment on her personality as I haven't seen many interviews with her..
  8. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    Agree with bardtoob. Probably the strongest mental competitor we've had in ladies figure skating from the 80's onto now. Far from the most talented in free skating.

    She was also very engaging and amusing in her interviews, especially later in her eligible career and of course in her pro career. Very likable.
  9. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    A steely, determined, competitor and champion.

    Would she have been as successful, though, if she hadn't been so attractive?
    Even as an amateur, her programs were constructed to "highlight" that; and conceal any weaknesses.

    I enjoyed her skating much more during her pro career.
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  10. TheGirlCanSkate

    TheGirlCanSkate Well-Known Member

    I can't wait to get to the library to read bios/autobios this weekend. The interview was just a clip - basically she said she knew her Carmen was better - better music cut, better costume. And skaters remarked how she would skate to their music, cut close to them.
  11. Shyjosie

    Shyjosie Well-Known Member

    When I mention figure skating to people who are not much into it, Katharina Witt is the one name they remember.
    I adored her athleticism and her jumps most of all.
    She was strong in competition, she had really strong nerves.
  12. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

    I was 7 in 1984 and 11 (obviously) in 1988. I remember watching the 1988 ladies competition, but I really don't have a memory of who I wanted to win or what I thought of it.

    I remember my dad talked a lot about her :lol:!
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  13. suki

    suki Well-Known Member

    A fierce competitor for sure. But I thought her skakating, both technically and presentation-wise, was not even mediocre. She was a triumph of the perception of style over substance. Her competitive programs and costumes were cheesy even by 1980's standards. Ugh just ugh.
  14. FigureSpins

    FigureSpins Well-Known Member

    It's a very catty autobiography, no pun intended. She criticizes everyone, to the point of wondering (in print) why a certain US skater is flat-chested at her age. I didn't really enjoy it, but it was an enlightening book.
  15. demetriosj

    demetriosj Well-Known Member

    Way overrated. If she were not pretty, she never would have achieved what she did.
    Moka-Ananas and (deleted member) like this.
  16. VALuvsMKwan

    VALuvsMKwan Wandering Goy

    Let's just say that, back in the 1980's, when I thought of her, or referred to her, I substituted extremely vulgar substitutes for the first syllable of her first name and for her entire last name. Not proud of that, but true.

    I warmed up to her when she made her Olympic reinstatement comeback in 1994. She seemed humbled to be part of the experience, especially compared to her seemingly cutthroat earlier competitive days.
  17. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Funny this thread came up because I was watching her free from Cincinnati Worlds in 1987 again last night. Just amazing musicality and storytelling that drew you in.

    Some people go on and on about how she won competitions based on her looks (as if all other the female figure skaters were ugly in comparison :lol: ) to which I say "Bullshit". Witt was an unbelievable competitor. Same Worlds she skated last in the home country of her biggest rival who had just skated a pretty much perfect programme right before her and then she goes out, skates clean and lands a triple loop for the first time. F.I.E.R.C.E. :respec:
    OliviaPug and (deleted member) like this.
  18. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    I stopped following the sport after lake placid and didn't pick it up again until Lillehammer, so I missed the big Witt years live. I loved her in 94 and always enjoyed her pro programs and heard so much about how she was all that back in the day, so when I finally got to see the 80s on YouTube, I was shocked, SHOCKED at how gd awful it all was... The music, the costumes, the posture, the posturing, ugh... Totally laughable.

    Since, I've come to think of her as one of the most charismatic skaters of all time. Like baiul or bobeck, she could probably wet herself and we'd all think it was the most glorious loss of bladder control we ever saw! Lol

    However, she was the pupil of frau mutter, so it was all packaged as tacky and classless as possible. that woman really had the worst taste ever in all of skating.

    I think her competitor chaps are way overhyped. She was often nervous and never ever seemed to skate a totally clean lp. I think that "better" skaters often made more mistakes is irrelivent. It was the early days of triples and mistakes for the ladies were routine, and Witt often did softball LPs with lowish tech content even for back then. Like Sasha, she was consistently very good, not superp during big comps.
  19. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    Witt was a product of Frau Mueller's school of coaching.

    The style, the technique, even the musical and costuming choices, were identical to previous and post champions such as Gabi Seyfert, Sonja Morgenstern, Annette Poetsch, Simone Lang, and Evelynn Grossmann.

    What Katarina brought to the table was her flirtatious personality and winning looks.

    Otherwise, the skating itself was athletic but not particularly ground - breaking.

    I did love her Caravans short program that Witt skated in 1986, however.
  20. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I couldn't stand her back in her amateur days. I saw a interview with her before an event (the 1988 Olys I think) where she came across as such a self-entitled bitch. The interviewer asked her about East Germany, and if she thought it was fair that just because she was an athlete, she was able to jump ahead in line, if you will, and get a new car, when other regular citizens had to wait for such things. Witt seemed really entitled that she deserved it more than other regular East Germans. That plus never loving her skating, and another interview where she was confronted about the skating to other people's music thing and she looked like she was lying through her teeth "oh, I wasn't trying to intimidate, I was just enjoying their music" . . . I'm not a fan.

    However, I will agree 100% that the only other competitor who was as fierce was Henie. Witt knew how to bring it when she needed to bring it, and was not against using all the tools in her toolbox (ie: her looks) to win.
  21. dinakt

    dinakt Well-Known Member

    To be fair, it was the only way a distinguished individual in the former Soviet Block could feel their achievement- by having those kind of priviledges, as all prize money was taken by the government. And it became a point of pride- to be able to get for yourself, or your family, some things that were not available otherwise. I have no idea, maybe she was an entitled b....., but I would not judge her replies by the Western standarts.

    I, personally, adored her- but I was quite young, and she was glamorous, daring, sexy, very "Western", while being from the Soviet Block, and that alone made me admire her tons. She was a great show woman with nerves of steel. I did not know enough about skating then to judge the finer points...
  22. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    During her competitive years, I thought she got more attention and accolades than she deserved

    But now, I can really appreciate her competitiveness and determination to win when I look at the current state of US ladies
  23. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    She really knew how to sell a program and capture the mood of the music. It probably helped that she had charisma too which not many of the skaters of that era had.

    Her interviews in the 80s did appear pretty cold and impersonal, but skating for East Germany at the time you probably had to be pretty careful what you said.

    On the other hand, her professional interviews were quite fun. I loved one where she had done a triple toe. She said she didn't even think she was going to do it, then did it and was a good one. She was so laid back and relaxed.

    I always like the stories about her and Roslyn Sumners. They became really good friends during their professional careers but had nothing to do with each other whilst competing.
  24. vivika1982

    vivika1982 Well-Known Member

    Feisty competitor.Charismatic performer .True diva:)
  25. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    In all fairness, her "cold" 80s amateur interviews may have been part of the Communist Bloc media persona ... Cold, impersonal, distain for imperfection, a normal expected outcome of a planned economy (machine) ....
  26. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I think Witt is an amazing survivor. She did what she had to do to survive under the East German regime. She was allowed to tour more than any East German before her. When the Wall came down she was able to make a successful career in the unified Germany, although many suggested she should leave due to the Initial hostility towards her as a privileged member of the East German regime. She remains loyal to Mueller, who has been ostracized by the German skating federation.

    She was an amazing competitor. She could pull off her most difficult jumps when her competitors skated well, and would leave them out when they made mistakes.

    As far as her saying her Carmen was better, I don't understand people who want skaters to be humble and gracious going into a major competition. If you don't believe you are better how can you win?
  27. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    She was one of the all time greats in terms of competitive nerve. She was also an amazingly charismatic entertainer.

    Her skating (compared to her record) is a little flat. Competent enough but rarely amazing.

    A great champion, competitor and entertainer, but not a skater's skater (in terms of amazing edges or musicality or precision or versatility).
  28. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I think she and Thomas made skating interesting with their blunt, not always politically correct interviews. They seemed like true competitors. You knew they were hungry for the title and wary of each other. They achieved the same tension as Tonya/Nancy without the knee whack.
  29. Johnny_Fever

    Johnny_Fever Well-Known Member

    Witt's career was perfectly timed with the fall of the Iron Curtain. Under the communist regime, everything was paid for. Then, when she turned pro, she had the opportunity to take full advantage of capitalism.
  30. LilJen

    LilJen Reaching out with my hand sensitively

    I agree with this. All Eastern Bloc athletes were portrayed this way.

    I don't remember much other than wanting Debi Thomas to win in 88. And Witt to wear a BRA already in her later skating years :)