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Ladies of the late 60s / early 70s

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by olympic, Dec 31, 2010.

  1. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Bored at work, waiting for 'early release' :D

    I read several wikipedia entries about several female skating phenoms from the late 60s and early 70s -

    Gabriele Seyfert -

    -She lost to Hana Maskova of Czechoslovakia at '68 Euros. I didn't know that. I just assumed that Gaby was always dominant on the Euro scene.
    -She also was the daughter of Jutta Mueller.
    -She landed a 3loop in '68. Wow. Was she considered a stronger free skater than Peggy Fleming?
    -Any reason why she didn't continue until the '72 Olympics? She was on quite a streak, winning Worlds in '69 and '70
    -She had been coaching Anett Poetzsch as a youngster and Anett was taken away from her by the GDR Skating authority....and given over to her mother for coaching. Awkward! She quit coaching as a result according to the entry.

    Hana Maskova-

    -Her wikipedia entry stated she was a 'hard worker' and a great free skater. Anyone have any insight? She beat Gaby at '68 Euros. Would she have also been competitive with Peggy Fleming?
    -She withdrew from '69 Worlds and never competed again. I wonder why....
    -She died in a car crash in '72 :(

    Albertina Noyes-

    -She was solidly the #2 American after Peggy Fleming for the length of their careers together throughout the 60s. Any insight on her? Was she noted for anything? I've never seen her mentioned in any threads.

    Zsuzsa Almassy-

    -She was '69 World Champion Bronze Medalist but never landed on the world podium again. I think she was as high as Silver on Euro podiums, too. Was she noted for anything?

    Julie Holmes-

    -I see she was coached by Carlo Fassi. Was she a princess-style skater? She seemed really strong in Figures, but was beaten by Janet Lynn at US Nats, yet finished ahead of Janet every year at Worlds from '69 - '71, winning a bronze in '70 and silver in '71. She was finally passed by Janet at the '72 Olympics. Did she bomb that competition? She disappears after Sapporo....

    Trixi Schuba, Petra Burka and Janet Lynn have been explored in other threads.

    I think it's great that Petra landed the first triple jump in '65 (?) but sadly quit skating after '66 Worlds. Was she an athlete? Artist? Was coach Ellen Burka her mother?

    Any insight on any skater would be greatly appreciated.
  2. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    She wrote a book called I Can Teach You To Figure Skate that I remember reading in the 1970s. I guess she coached but I don't know if that was a full-time career for her. She talked in the book about touring as a pro skater for a while and being mesmerized by her sparkly fishnet tights (that she could see during her laybacks?).

    I believe she had a triple toe, at least occasionally, in an era when triples were rare.

    You can find a couple videos of her skating on youtube:
  3. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    According to Toller Cranston Gaby Seifert told him that she was forced into retirement by the GDR with her mother's complicity in order to make way for the next generation. Apparently this is the way it was done in the GDR. Katarina Witt was the first to break the mold.

    Christine Brennan interviewed Tina Noyes in one of her books. Apparently Peggy totally dominated during that era. Some people claim it was because of Fassi's politicing.

    Ellen Burka was Petra's coach and mother (also a world champ). Ellen and Petra were also caught up in Fassi politics. Petra was supposedly told that Peggy was going to win the OGM so she quit. Ellen was the one who did Dorothy Hamil's Olympic programs and trained her in Toronto but Fassi went to the Olympics with her and took all of the credit.

    Julie Lynn Holmes was supposedly a victim of Dick Button. He was married to Janet Lynn's coach at the time and promoted Lynn every chance he got.

    Toller Cranston is close to the Burka's and his books are full of reminiscences about the skaters of this era. Ellen Burka was also interviewed about Petra and Dorothy.
  4. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I meant to say that Ellen Burka was interviewd By International Figure Skating and talked about Petra, Dorothy, and the politics of that era.
  5. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    While it's true Dick Button loved Janet Lynn's skating, I don't think that's why Janet usually beat Julie Lynn Holmes at US Nationals. It's because Lynn outskated Holmes. Holmes was a very good free skater, and a good compulsory figures competitor, but Janet was one of the greats, and usually performed better than Holmes at home. Holmes actually placed higher than Janet at Worlds in 1969, 1970 and 1971. Holmes bombed her free skate at the 1972 Olympics, placing 8th in FS, 4th overall, while Janet Lynn won the FS and placed 3rd overall.

    Dick Button didn't marry Slavka Kahout until 1975, 2 years after Janet retired. Also, Button became Lynn's manager after Lynn retired in 1973.

    I think K9Henrydog's comments on that 2nd video say it all. I really liked Julie Lynn Holmes, but to me she was a Peggy Fleming/Dorothy Hamill clone. She wasn't unique, and Janet Lynn was.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
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  6. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    ^ I watched Julie Holmes's '69 Worlds LP. Nice, although some of those moves didn't look very 'finished'. It's the first time I've seen her skate. Amazingly, if she had held it together in Sapporo '72 she probably would've been an Olympic Silver Medalist based on her strong figures and competent skating. Her free-skating was good. Does anyone know what happened to her exactly in the Olympic LP that she ended up behind Trixi even in the LP?
  7. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    When I want to know anything about skating during this time, I always refer to Floskate. :)

    floskate and (deleted member) like this.
  8. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Really ? OMG, what a weird decicion : it didn't really work, since, no GDR skater was really good in 1971 and 1972. :rolleyes:
  9. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Tina Noyes - she was very much a skating prodigy. She skated aged 10 in the 1961 Memorial benefit at Boston hosted by Dick Button for the US team who died at Brussels where she landed clean double axels. When I watched a video of it I was quite shocked at the quality of her jumps. Sadly I have never seen any other footage of her skating when she and Peggy were 1-2 in the US.

    Julie Lynn Holmes - she badly two-footed both double axels in her Olympics freeskate and pretty much skated below par throughout. I read somewhere (possibly Dorothy Hamill's autobiography) that Carlo had an inkling Julie wouldn't skate after the Olympics and had told Dorothy to train like mad in case she - as the 4th place finisher at Nationals - was called on to go to Worlds. Carlo must have had this feeling for some time because he also sent Dorothy to the pre-Olympic event held at Sapporo in 1971 to get Dorothy out in front of international judges before going to Worlds. Julie Lynn it seems was very hurt by what she perceived as the US media bias towards Janet, although I agree with Pollyanna that Janet was simply in a different stratosphere to Julie in terms of free skating.

    Zsu Zsa Almassy was a very 'sturdy' skater. She trained at Richmond under Arnold Gerschwiler so had solid figures but when she was 'on' could really light up the ice in free skating. She had great double axels with difficult entrances, loved doing arabians and had a very cool split jump into arabian to back camel into illusion combo.

    And I've never ever bought that idea that Gaby was forced to retire to make way for the new generation. They had Errath and Morgenstern coming up behind Gaby, both excellent skaters but not great in figures. They never had a chance against Trixie whereas Gaby could be close enough in figures to beat her overall after the free. Errath and Morgenstern were earmarked for Innsbruck I'm sure - Morgenstern never made it there because of injury and she was quickly surpassed by 12 year old Anett Poetszch in 1973. Also there was a LOT of pressure placed on Anett to skate the 1981 season and she was entered for both Europeans and worlds but later withdrawn and replaced by Carola Paul. So I don't think that was 'the way things were in the GDR' at all. Another example is Jan Hoffmann who wanted to retire and go to med school after the '76 Olympics but was 'persuaded' to stay in for another quad.
  10. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    The explanation I always heard about Seyfert was that either she (or mama or federation) realized she couldn't hold of Schuba (whose figures were starting to approach supernaturally great levels) any more and the decision was to retire while she was still on top. A ... prickly relationship with mama probably didn't help (having Frau Muller as either coach or mother is scary enough, having her as both is almost too much for the human mind to comprehend).

    I also assumed that's why Poetzsch retired, the change in scoring from the 1980 to 1981 seasons meant she would still be a contender for the podium (though not guaranteed a place) but not really a gold medal threat especially with more and better free skaters coming up.

    Holmes also seemed a little ... unfinished to me, as if no one quite knew how to package her so she seemed a little too much like a pale copy of Fleming rather than her own skater (she should at least have done something different with her hair).
  11. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

    Holmes got ripped off at 69 worlds when she went 4,2 and should have won the silver medal there. Then the next year at worlds she didn't skate nearly as well and ended up 3rd. Typical of the ISU at the time to run a competition behind.

    At 72 Olympics floskate is right Holmes didn't skate her best there but IMO her free skating was still miles better than Schuba's. Schuba didn't even try a 2A in her program and she singled a jump as well (either a flip or a loop, can't remember right now). I'll never understand Holmes' 8th place finish in free skating compared to Schuba being 7th.

    I too have never seen Tina Noyes skate. Someday I hope.
  12. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Gaby has published an autobiography which is only available in German. I wonder if any posters here who speak the language have read it? I'd be iinterested to know what her side of the story is. I heard various theories, but again there is no proof for them, such as that she wanted to turn pro and skate in shows outside of the GDR which the government wouldn't hear of. I'm sure her Mother was involved, whatever the reason was.

    I'm uploading a documentary to youtube on the 1967 Europeans called Die Eis Mutter :lol: which has some great footage of Hana Maskova's skating, as well as Schuba and seyfert. The best part of it is watching Jutta Muller watching Gaby; absolutely priceless. Maskova won 1968 Europeans because for once Gaby bombed a figure and placed 3rd in that section. That is why she did the triple loop in an attempt to overhaul both Schuba and Maskova but while she handily won the free, she could only pull above Trixie to place 2nd.
  13. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Here it is:

    Die Eismutter

    It starts off with an interview with Trixie and her Mother followed by the figures of Trixie and Gaby among other competitors. Then it shows highlights of the free skating of Maskova - who needs some medical assistance after she skates - followed by Seyfert but there's more of Jutta Muller's reactions than Seyferts actual skating. Interesting to see the snippet of Sally Stapleford signing autographs. I thought this would be an interesting addition to some of the points being discussed here. :)

    Apologies for the low sound.
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  14. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    I saw most of Eismutter (I always think of it as die Eismuttis) around 12 years ago on a German public tv channel and regretted not realizing ahead of time how great it was so I could tape it.

    I do remember the footage of Jutta watching her daughter skate... one the weirdet things I'd ever seen on TV.

    added: Frau Muller in this clip is a much more handsome woman than I'd remembered, my favorite moment is at 10.07...
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  15. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    I had no idea that was Sally Stapleford the announcer just calls her "the English champion" who placed second in figures "but one knows that with the free skate she'll fall to fourth or fifth place". The public rink footage at the end is also cool, especially the old couple gently dancing.
  16. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Heh, Seyfert's dress was very sparkly for that era. Did she start a trend?
  17. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    The thing that shocked me was how fast Trixie was performing her figures in comparison to the other skaters, and, of course, even with only upper body shots, you can tell how rock solid her posture was over her blades. Gaby was more what I would have expected, very good, but the difference is impossible to ignore.

    You'd guess that video is about Jutter Muller if you watched with the sound off. She made me stressed out just watching her. Based on the height, I would guess the jump at 7:57-7:58 is the 3Lp.

    I personally like the cut to Robin Cousins ;) . . . hehe
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  18. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Mafke, Floskate, Thanks.

    Yeesh. Jutta Mueller was an intense woman. I think it took a special brand of skater to flourish under her tutelage. No wonder Kat was such a rock!

    I think these ladies of the 60s deserve major :respec: for being able to jump with that big hair:eek: It puts Jill Trenary to shame :lol:
  19. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I wish Fassi hadn't died. I understand he was working on sn autobiography. I would love to know how he did his politiking and why he was so much better at it than any other coach.

    Also, what happened to Mueller after Kat Witt?
  20. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    She was coaching her next protege - Evelin Grossmann, whose highlights were 7th at '89 Worlds, '90 Euro Champ, then 8th at '90 Worlds. Evelin competed at '91 Euros and lost her crown to Surya Bonaly. She did not compete at '91 Worlds for some reason. She did not go to Albertville '92 either. She had the jumps from 3flip [sometimes] on down but was sure to drown in the wake of the technical prowess of Midori, Tonya, Kristi, etc. She pretty much disappeared [I think] after '91 as a major player

    Simone Lang was next [I believe she was also a Jutta Mueller Protege] and her career was less and even more short-lived but I recall placing respectably at major intl comps. Germany was undergoing reunification at the time and that undoubtedly interrupted Mueller's reign.
  21. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    I loved how hilariously generic Mueller's pupils were. For example, in 1989 Lang and Grossmann skated to the same cut of music Poetszch used back in the late 1970s. Even the choreography was similar.

    Off all Frau Mueller's students, Sonya Morgenstern was my favourite. Her free skate at the 1972 European Championships is one I can watch over and over.
  22. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    IIRC Toller Cranston once said they she seemed to train the same female skater over and over again. Witt was the only one really able to project her own personality.
  23. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    I agree with essence_of_soy that Morgenstern was pretty fabulous but she also was the first of those clones that Frau Muller created. Morgenstern morphed into Marion Weber who turned into Poetszch etc. Then came Genzel, Witt, Grossmann & Lang. Imagine how many more there were who never made it out of GDR Nationals!! :eek: :lol:

    The wierdest thing has been that Seyfert never skated anything like any of the girls that came after her IMO.
  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

  25. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    I recall that Mueller's students were even known to recycle the same dresses... There is footage of Evelyn Grossmann wearing a long program dress that both Witt and Poetszch wore earlier
  26. matti

    matti Active Member

    1968 was the year of her "successful" 3loop attempt, not 1967. The jump at 7.57 is too clean and easy-looking.
  27. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Seyfert did triple loop at both 1968 and '69 Europeans apparently. The 1968 one was on youtube for a while but it seems the user has sadly removed the video. It was very cheated but still exciting to see. :)
  28. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I always thought Seyfert looked similar to Witt in a way. She looks like she had similar charisma, attack, and confidence on the ice, without neccessarily being the pretty ballerina with beautiful extensions and toepoint like Janet Lynn or Caryn Kadavy, and she seemed like an athletic leader for her time too.
  29. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Jutta Muller retired after Evelyn Grossman dropped out, which was just a year or two after the reunification of the two Germanys. I read somewhere that she had problems with her eyes, having had several eye operations. Witt helped her financially and may still do so.
  30. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Gaby Seyfert looked quite muscular, like a 60s prototype of Joannie Rochette with big jumps! Peggy was more slim and ballerina-like. Hana Maskova looked like she had a naturally amazing talent for jumps, too - big, high, etc.