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Which reigning world champion who was the BIGGEST favorite to win OGM lost the gold?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Vash01, Mar 22, 2013.

Which reigning world champion was the biggest favorite to lose the Olympic gold medal

Poll closed Jun 20, 2013.
  1. Brian Orser 1988

    11 vote(s)
  2. Kurt Browning 1992

    49 vote(s)
  3. Kurt Browning 1994

    20 vote(s)
  4. Elvis Stojko 1998

    9 vote(s)
  5. Evgeni Plushenko 2002

    6 vote(s)
  6. Irina Slutskaya 2006

    63 vote(s)
  7. Michelle Kwan 2002

    82 vote(s)
  8. Other

    0 vote(s)
  1. Vash01

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

    Reigning world champions are usually the favorites to win the Olympic Gold Medal. Some are heavy favorites, but there are many instances of a heavy favorite not winning the OGM. Which world champion was the biggest favorite at the Olympics but did not win the gold? (Meaning the biggest surprise/biggest shock/biggest disappointment, etc.)

    Correction: Should be Michelle Kwan in 2002 (not 1998- she was not the reigning world champion in 1998)

    Is it possible to correct this in the poll?
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
    RunnersHigh and (deleted member) like this.
  2. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Michelle Kwan in 2002 was such a shock. But of course, she lost Skate Canada to Sarah Hughes and Irina Slutskaya and she didn't have a coach anymore. So...

    Kurt Browning in 1992 was really a shock, because I didn't know he was injured before.
  3. Kelvster

    Kelvster Well-Known Member

    ??? Michelle wasn't the reigning champion in 1998! and yet so many ppl voted for her, understandably :)
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  4. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Slutskaya in 2006 IMO. I think the feeling 3 or 4 months from the Games atleast was that she was a mortal lock. Even at the Games itself it didnt feel like anyone there was a threat to her with Asada out of the Games, be it Cohen, the Japanese, Kwan (had she been able to skate).
  5. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    That's what Vash wrote in the first post. It's Michelle in 2002.
  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I dont see how Michelle in 2002 would be the best choice. She had lost most of her head to head meetings with Slutskaya the last 2+ years, even though she had beaten her at Worlds two years in a row. She had not won the short program at a Worlds since 1998. She was even starting to be challenged by Hughes that season, and Butyrskaya and Cohen were both capable of springing an upset on a given day too. At most she was only the very slight favorite, no more.

    1998 would have been a bigger upset. Yes she wasnt the reigning World Champion, but she was a much heavier favorite than she was in 2002. However given the thread title I guess that makes her in 1998 ineligible.

    Slutskaya in 2006 is still my choice though (wouldnt have been if Asada had been in the Games). I really didnt see anyone in the field to challenge her before the Games started. Not any of the Japanese (with Asada out). Not Cohen who had never won a major title, still had consistency issues, and rarely ever beat Slutskaya. Not Kwan had she even competed. I was quite shocked she lost.

    Browning in 1992? Wasnt really surprised he didnt win. Petrenko was virtually equal with him even at full strength, and he had been injured all year.

    Browning in 1994? Had a bad year leading up to the Games including losing his Canadian title where he was only 4th in the short program. Wasnt injured like 92 but motivation seemed waning. Maybe was the still the favorite, but not an overwhelming one especialy with Petrenko, Stojko, Boitano all there too.

    Stojko in 1998? Again wasnt the huge favorite, had lost the GP final to Kulik, had been 4th after the short program the previous year at Worlds, and was challengable by all of Kulik, Eldredge, and young Yagudin.

    Plushenko in 2002? Wasnt even the favorite at all over Yagudin probably after losing to him at the GP final, Yagudin winning Europeans while Plushenko pulled out injured and was still injured going into the Games, and Yagudin had many more World titles that quad anyway and only lost Worlds with an injury of his own.

    Orser in 1988 would be my 2nd choice after Slutskaya in 2006. Was pretty surprising IMO he lost there as he had generally dominated Boitano except for one bad free skate at the 86 Worlds. I know Boitano had improved alot that year but that improvement hadnt helped him not be beaten easily by Orser at Skate Canada that very season.
    skatak and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Vash01

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

    I agree about Irina being a huge favorite in 2006, but I think Kurt in 1992 was a heavy favorite too, being the 3x world champion. Petrenko was challenging him but he had not beaten Browning. I did not know about Kurt's injury, and even if I did, in my mind at least he would have still been the favorite. Browning was always "a big game skater" in Hamilton's words, so his earlier losses did not bother me at all. The big three- Boitano, Browning, Peterenko- were expected to dominate the younger skaters. Boitano was considered a bigger favorite, but as the reigning world champion, especially with his Casablanca LP, was expected to give Browning an artistic edge.

    Plushenko before the 2002 GPF had beaten Yagudin many times, and his loss at the GPF was surprising to many. It was really a toss up between the two, before the Olympics started, because of the GPF results. Otherwise he would have been a big favorite over Yags. He actually skated a different LP (Carmen) after that, and it was very good. It was the SP that led to his defeat. IMO Yagudin would have still won the OGM but it would have been a closer competition (and I wish it had been; I saw it live in the arena- SP & LP, and must count my lucky stars).

    Despite his solo world title, Orser was considered a big favorite over Boitano because of his artistry. Unfortunately for him, that time the technical marks were the tie breaker, or he would have won the OGM.
  8. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Agreed. B/c she was the world champ she came in with a slight edge but SLC was supposed to be a showdown b/w Michelle and Irina. Both faltered and Sarah (and all of her under-rotations) swooped and snatched the medal right from under both of them. Talk about the stars aligning...Luckiest OGM in history! There was no way on this earth that ever would have happened had Irina and Michelle been on their game that night...
  9. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

    Geez, this feels like one of those sneaky tests in high school where you were supposed to read all of it before answering anything, LOL. I mistakenly picked Kwan also thinking 2002. For this poll, my choice would be Browning 1992, what a heartbreaker.
  10. wonderlen

    wonderlen New Member

    I have to say Irina because she was doing remarkly well during the GP series. Sure she lost the GPF to Asada, but she was throwing 7 triples program in COR and almost crack 200 points. But this the reality of skating as even a few weeks, let alone months can throw you off the game.
  11. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka The Stolbova/Klimov and James/Cipres Uber

    I really felt Slutskaya was a heavy favourite in 06. Unless my memory is playing tricks on me, the only loss she'd had since 04 worlds was in the GPF, right? Other than that she won all her GPs, Euros and worlds in 05, and won her GPs and Euros in 05/06 too. I really felt the OGM was hers to lose. Not only was she so very consistent, she seemed to have COP worked out, more than anyone else. In my mind at least, she was unbeatable.

    Slutskaya/Cohen seemed out of Arakawa's reach. She'd been 3rd in both her GPs, failed to reach the GPF, 3rd at Nats and was 3rd in the SP. I kinda thought she was destined to be 3rd here too :lol: After her LP, I was thrilled, because I thought she'd be 2nd having gone ahead of Cohen.

    I was :eek: watching Slutskaya. It's amazing (and a shame) how sloppy she was, given her great form of the previous eighteen months. In fact, I've often wondered what happened to Irina in Torino. Was it pressure? Did she peak too soon? I wonder....
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  12. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I think it was a combination of:

    1. The altitude in Turin is very high. Not good for the type of illness she still had.
    2. She was a bit thrown off by not winning the short program by a large margin as she had all season. She might not have been mentally prepared for it. I dont blame her for being surprised, she had already scored a 70 in the short program that year, and everyone elses scores were escalating at the Games, yet she scores 4 points lower.
    3. The pressure of winning the OGM, the only thing that had eluded her, and knowing it was her last chance.
    4. Losing the GP final to Asada hurt her confidence when she had been on such a roll until then, and even knowing Mao wasnt at the Games.
    5. The cummulative effects of dealing with such a serious illness, even though she had it under control, her energy was probably zapped by then after 15 months of non stop competing and training. Adrenalaine had gotten her through until then.
  13. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Kwan is one of my all-time favorites but I didn't think she'd win in 2002. By 2002 Kwan needed to be perfect and Slute needed to make mistakes for Kwan to win. I felt like either Slute would finally skate a clean long program when it counted or Kwan would finally make a mistake. I did not feel hopeful about her chances.

    And to the person who said Hughes was the luckiest gold medallist ever. That's a bit unfair. Yes, she had luck but she also needed to deliver a great long program which she did it. Good for her. She needed more than just luck.

    For instance I think Slute would have won worlds in 2000 if she'd done just one 3-3 and she would have also won in 2001 if she'd not been sloppy, but Kwan still delivered when it counted and to call her wins lucky would be equally insulting! The same goes for Yamaguchi in 1992 and to many others to name.
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Hughes lucky in 2002? IMO yes and no. She had been a consistent top 3 finisher for almost 2 years, and had closed the gap on Kwan and Slutskaya that season. When you have consistency going for you like she does, you are bound to at some point come out on top. On the other hand her short program was really mediocre and should have been lower than 4th and she was lucky it wasnt.
  15. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    A lot of options are good but none so good as browning 1992! Victor flopped near the end of his programs and there was just barely anyone else. You had stojko and Urmanov but there just wasn't anybody else.
  16. Ares

    Ares Guest

    I voted Slutskaya for the same reason. Leading up to Torino she had the same aura of invinciblity Kwan had after Nagano up to the 1999 Worlds. Even after Asada broke that aura at the 05-06 GPF, it was by someone who was not eligible for the Olympics, so Irina was still the overwhelming favorite.
  17. PeterG

    PeterG Well-Known Member

    I would say Kwan is a much bigger loser than Slutskaya.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  18. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    I voted for Kurt in '94, although I don't know if that was the right choice after reading other responses. I was so young then that I forgot he lost his Canadian title and struggled leading up to the Games.

    Orser in '88 had such a close rivalry with Boitano that really, either of them could have won and it wouldn't have been a surprise. In '92, it wasn't a given that Kurt would win, Petrenko was about an equal contender. Elvis wasn't seen as invincible in '98 either as he had been off the world podium in '96. Yagudin was really the favourite in 2002, IMO. I always thought that Cohen could challenge Slutskaya in 2006 (didn't really think of Arakawa much lol) and Slutskaya could challenge Kwan in 2002 (didn't expect Sarah Hughes to win!).
  19. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I am surprised how few votes there are for Orser in 88 and to a lesser extent Browning in 94. Orser in 88 was the clear favorite going in. I think hindsight and how legendary Boitano has become makes people forget that. He certainly was more favored than Kwan in 2002, Stojko in 1998, or Plushenko in 2002 by a good margin. Boitano winning wasnt a huge upset but he was the definite underdog facing reigning World Champion Orser in his home country, and having last easily to Orser their last 2 confrontations, including when he unveiled the new Boitano package at Skate Canada that season. The only time Boitano had beaten Orser that I know of in the past 5 years or so was Worlds 86 when Orser had a very bad LP. Orser in 88 should have more votes than just 5 IMO.

    Browning in 94 has way fewer votes than Browning in 92, yet Browning in 94 was healthy and much more artistically developed than the Browning of 92 who had to outjump his competitors to win, and he was facing essentialy the exact same field minus a few skaters and plus an old Boitano who certainly was not favored more than Browning.
  20. merrywidow

    merrywidow Well-Known Member

    I voted for Orser. Sandra Bezic's choreography was the difference IMO in turning Boitano into an Olympic gold medalist. It was such a close competition. A true heartbreak for Orser.
  21. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    In 1988, Orser and Boitano were both former World champion. And in 1992, only one former World champion competed : Kurt browning.
    It probably explains why Kurt 1992 is getting more votes. ;)
  22. caseyedwards

    caseyedwards Well-Known Member

    Slutskaya had dropped triple triples from her program at euros 2006 and then at the Olympics lost to Cohen in the short then in the free everything was going well until fall and double flip double toe where she lost over 10 points. So she looked strong all season against eligible people but was already going in a direction of reducing difficulty.
  23. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    One difference was in '94, Petrenko was on a comeback after not competing in '93, while in 1992 he hadn't taken a break from competition.
  24. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Very true and wouldnt that theoretically make Browning more of a favorite?
  25. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I think many considered Kwan to be the favorite because for the previous two seasons, she had been peaking just at the right time for Worlds, so maybe she would have done the same in 2002 for the Olympics. She lost head-to-head competitions to Slutskaya, but that was true in 2001 too and many argued that Kwan should have won the GPF that season over Slutskaya. Let's not forget that there were only two head-to-heads before Slutskaya and Kwan faced each other at the season's biggest event, so it's not as if there were a whole slew of competitions that Slutskaya kept beating Kwan in (three during the 2001-2002 season since there were the Goodwill Games that Hughes did not compete in and Suguri had beaten Cohen in for similar skates). Also, Slutskaya hadn't really skated a totally clean routine or at least one up to her level consistently at that point. Plus, she somehow lost to Maria Butryskaya at Euros prior to the Olympics.

    There were definitely warning signs that season. Kwan somehow couldn't prepare a new SP, went coachless (I'm not saying she shouldn't have left Frank, but she still should have used a coach, and it probably would've been better for her to leave Frank earlier if she was going to do so), and her jumps were smaller than usual. However, she was in pretty excellent shape by SLC Flip problems aside. She was skating with more speed, and her spins in terms of speed and length were probably looking better than they ever had (aside from the 2005 season where they were COPed and better stretched). I also remember reading positive practice reports and how consistent her jumps were. Even with their SLC mistakes, Irina and Kwan still skated pretty well, just not as well as Hughes much less as well as the standard Irina and Michelle had set. They both landed about five triples anyway.

    Also, I remember there was this perception (rightly or wrongly) that if Irina and Kwan skated comparably well, that they'd give Kwan the elusive Olympic gold medal and Irina the, at the time, elusive World title. I'm not sure where that came from, but it seemed right at the time.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  26. Vash01

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

    I believe that had Kwan not gone to the 2002 Olympics without a coach she would have won the gold. Nobody could have predicted though that Irina would choke; she had been solid that season (and even more so in 2006). Irina was a much bigger favorite for the OGM in 2006 than Kwan was in 2002 (but Kwan was perhaps the biggest favorite among ladies, going into the 1998 Olys).
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2013
  27. Vash01

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

    You nailed it. From some of Boitano's comments after the 88 Olys, it sounded like Orser was a huge favorite going into the games because -1)orser's superior artistry, 2)Oly in Canada. The judges were ready to give him the OGM even with mistakes, but Bezic & Boitano shocked everyone with a choreographical masterpiece, which leveled the field. Then it came down to Boitano's technical perfection vs. Orser's small miscues (flawed landing of the 3f and a 2A instead of 3A at the end). Boitano won the tie breaker on the tech marks (yes, you read it right).
  28. Eyre

    Eyre New Member

    Michelle Kwan is leading in this poll?:D It only means one thing - there are many Kwan fans on this board.

    But no, Michelle was only pumped up by Americans in 2002 Olympics. Her best chance was in 1998, not 2002. Michelle was lucky to stay on the podium in 2002.
  29. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, lucky to be on the podium when she hadn't placed lower than second at that point in her career for the past 7 seasons outside of Skate Canada and being the reigning World Champion two years running before SLC. Oh and placing first in the SP and receiving a majority of second place ordinals in the LP with no 4th place vote.

    Say what you want, but you can't deny that Kwan was a favorite going into SLC even if she shared that title with Irina. IMO, those two were the biggest favorites together because nobody could have conceived of the idea that one of them wouldn't be on that top step...Skate Canada notwithstanding.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I agree Kwan was a favorite going into the 2002 Olympics, arguably the slight favorite, but she wasnt even close to the biggest favorite for gold on this list. In fact of the options on the list I would put her 2nd last ahead of only Plushenko in 2002 (who IMO was not the favorite at all). Most FSUers dont even read polls with Kwan on it though, they just see the name and vote automatically, lol!