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Sophie Moniotte and Pascal Lavanchy

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by VIETgrlTerifa, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Ok, I'm going to admit to being a pretty bad ice dancing fan and say that I just recently discovered that there was another no. 1 French team with admirable world standing before Anissina/Peizerat (and after the Duschenays).

    I never even heard of Moniotte/Lavanchy until I looked up results for the 1997 World Championships and watched the final flight of Lilehammer.

    My question is that how can a team who were 5th at the 1994 Olympics, 2nd at those Worlds, 3rd at Worlds the year after, then 4th (over Anissina/Peizerat) in 1997 plummet all the way down to 11th at the next year's Olympics. There was no COP to account for the plummeting, so it must have taken a lot for them to fall so hard under 6.0.

    Did injuries and whatnot really affect their skating that badly in one year that the judges had no choice but to place them so low or did politics play a big role?

    I haven't been able to find videos of their Nagano performance so I can't visually compare them in 1998 to them in 1997.

    I'm seriously curious about this.

    I also like to know what the general consensus on this team is. Do people just view them as a transitional team that had success while better teams were developing then peaked correctly for Nagano or do people really think they had the goods to medal in Nagano? Their style seemed a lot more ballroom in nature than say Anissina/Peizerat and Grishuk/Platov and they seemed more into that style than venturing out. I wonder if their style hurt their reputation among ice dance enthusiasts when they are personally ranking memorable ice dance teams.

    I also read that Sophie Moniotte certainly believed that politics killed her and Lavancy's chances in Nagano and gave up the sport in disgust. She didn't have kind words for Anissina/Peizerat.
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I thought their performances at the 98 Olympics were really weak. The injuries and lost training time definitely showed. Ever since their peak in 94-95 they had struggled with injuries, missed the whole 95-96 season, and even though they were 4th at the 97 Worlds had clearly lost ground to the next generation of teams already, only coming that high mainly since A&P had an awful FD that year. However they were much stronger at the 97 Worlds than they were at the 98 Games.

    While I agreed with the ultimate podium there was definitely bloc judging at the 98 Olympics dance event. Various stations even outlined the ordinals and it was fairly obvious. It probably impacted many teams, Moniotte & Lavanchy were probably sacrificial lambs to ensure A&P medaled, but their skating their was weak enough to justify it while barely going unnoticed.
  3. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    All of the above. Even at their peak, their style seemed old fashioned compared to the field. Then they had some pretty serious injury issues and during their time away felt they lost their federation's support and were sacrificed.
  4. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    It was pretty clear even back then that Anissina/Peizerat clearly had that "it" factor and needed time to fully gel, while Moniotte/Lavanchy probably hit their peak prior to Nagano, so it was smart for the French Fed to back Anissina/Peizerat over Moniotte/Lavanchy (ala Davis/White over Belbin/Agosto in Vancouver despite B/A being reigning World silver medalists). It's just hard to fathom that M/L would place as low as 11th though without actually getting to see their Nagano performance. To me, that just stuck out.
  5. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan Well-Known Member

  6. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Sophie Moniotte looks like the precursor to Shae-Lynn and Tanith.
  7. casken

    casken Well-Known Member

    M&L's 98 FD

    The quality is kind of crappy, and you may have to sit through two Japanese commercials too, but it's there.

    I actually preferred M&L's Riverdance to B&K's as I thought the choreography was more developed and complete. It was nice to see some different connections and steps going around in curves instead of all of them being straight line like B&K's.

    They clearly weren't at their best shape, but the performance was still pretty solid and I felt that they were at least better in the FD than Winkler/Lohse and Romanova/Yaroshenko.

    The probably should have finished 8-9th, so it wasn't a huge robbery though. I always thought they were *slightly* overrated anyway.
  8. PashaFan

    PashaFan Well-Known Member

    It's my birthday today & what a lovely gift to be talking about Moniotte & Lavanchy.
    I loved their 98' FD. I thought when they skated it at the Europeans it worked better. The slow section in the middle was beautiful.
    Yes, they were old fashioned but that was part of their charm. Their 95' Worlds OD & 97' Europeans FD still stay with me even now.
    I just wished Sophie would have worn her hair different now & then to give their programes a better look.
    Sophie Moniotte was a real lady. It's a pity injury got in the way.
    Anyone remember their Gala routine at the 96' Lalique?. So lovely :)
  9. paskatefan

    paskatefan Well-Known Member

    I always liked this team, and miss them to this day.
  10. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Their 1998 FD was actually enjoyable (don't know I was expecting different). Those presentation scores were quite telling, I thought. Even if they were deserved, it sure was a difference from their scores in 1997.
  11. Blair

    Blair Member

    I used to dream about giving her a hair makeover. All she needed to complete her look were Mom Jeans.
  12. Bournekraatzfan

    Bournekraatzfan Well-Known Member


    and thanks for the link, casken. I really enjoyed their take on Riverdance, and couldn't find their FD on any of my tapes. I think they showed it in only one of the broadcasts. anyways, glad it can be found online now.

    Happy belated birthday, PashaFan!
  13. PashaFan

    PashaFan Well-Known Member

    Thank you Bournekraatzfan :D
    I used to have their 98' Euro & Olympic FD on tape but they got lost when I moved home :(
    I remember Sophie looking a little slow on the CD at the Europeans that year.
  14. PishPosh9

    PishPosh9 Active Member

    Ooh la la! I used to love them and Rahkamo and Kokko. Pascal was really just the cutest thing. :kickass:
  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    An ice dancer friend of mine thought Pascal had the best feet of all the male ice dancers.

    At the 98 Olympics, M&L didn't have a very good Golden Waltz. So that put then down in the standings too.
  16. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    IIRC, my opinion at the time was that Moniotte/Lavanchy were overrated in the years of their best results. Maybe it was because the quality and depth of ice dance just before then (early 90s) had been so extraordinary, but the notion of them as the second or third best team in the world always seemed really dubious to me.

    Under 6.0/ordinals scoring, it was really important to be your own country's #1 skater. Especially in ice dance, some (many, most?) judges would follow the lead of a country's national judges in rank ordering that country's skaters. If France said A/P was their top team over M/L, then that's the order the other judges would put them, unless what happened on the ice made that totally laughable. (At least, this is the explanation given me why Bestamianova/Bukin kept winning over Klimova/Ponomarenko even after it was pretty obvious the latter was better.)

    I also have a vague recollection (and this may be incorrect) that Moniotte was already whining about skating politics even before the 98 Olympics. The establishment (including its judges) were not kind to skaters who made waves, so that may have been part of the explanation. I remember being really surprised a year or two later that there seemed to be no repercussions for Denkova after her petition initiative.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2012
  17. jlai

    jlai Title-less

    I adore their 97 worlds gypsy free dance. I don't know anything about dance so I wouldn't know what's old fashioned dancing or what's not.
  18. PashaFan

    PashaFan Well-Known Member

    When they returned in the 96/97 season they were fantastic. Their OD & FD were amazing both in terms of choreography & technique.
    I think I remember Eurosport showing the Champion Series events that season & watching Sophie & Pascal at Skate America, The Nations Cup On Ice & The NHK Trophy. They were very good in all three.
    Even though I went on to become a huge Marina & Gwendal fan, that season I felt that Moniotte & Lavanchy were the better of the two French Couples.
    It's a pity I can't find their events other than the Worlds that season on Youtube. I would love to watch them again.
  19. googooeyes

    googooeyes Active Member

  20. kirkbiggestfan

    kirkbiggestfan Well-Known Member

    Pascal was very very strong in technic, but the requirements back then were so different. She had star quality and compensated her weaknesses with charisma (like Margaglio).
    She wrote a book "les patins de la colere". I doubt it has been translated into English. The book explained all the dirty secrets of the ice dancing world. They benefited from the system and got dropped instantly to the point where they both left the sport with a complete disgust.
    It's sad because young skaters would have benefitted from their experience, had they transitionned into coaching.
  21. Vash01

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

    To me, M&L were just OK- a good ice dance team, that's all. I never thought of them as championship caliber at the world level. I did watch them win Skate America in 93 and that was well deserved. I have several of their programs on tapes but I have not watched them in years.

    IMO A&P were the first real championship caliber team that skated for France (I did not say 'from France' for the obvious reason). The Duschenays were exciting to watch, but they were nowhere close to other top dance teams of their time in techique.
  22. Shyjosie

    Shyjosie Well-Known Member

    Totally agree, I just rewatched their FD. I enjoyed very much their performance at the '94 Olys and found it quite sad for them they didn't medal.