1996 Canadian nationals - Women’s free skate

honey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,083
I stumbled across the full broadcast of the 96 women’s event from Canadian nationals (thank you to the kind soul who is uploading many full event from the 90s!).

https://youtu.be/IlTVDqcKtqU

I had not seen this entire event since the night it happened. What I am baffled by upon rewatch is that the panel was willing to stick their neck out and save Chouinard against Humphreys, only to turn around to give it to Robinson???

Nothing against Jennifer, but that program was just as messy as Susan’s in terms of falls and pops, but Susan actually did more triples and the rest of the skating was several light years ahead. Was Susan out of political favour at the time or something? Was she being punished in the long for the disaster in the short (and from the year before)? Were they rewarding Jennifer for landing a loop and sort of a lutz and holding back for Susan because she didn’t land anything harder than sal and toe?

I have so many questions about this! I understand the push for Josee despite the complete meltdown. I just don’t get why they went halfway with it and were willing to keep her above Susan but not Jennifer.

Would love to hear other people’s thoughts about this! Nothing like digging up controversial skating moments from a quarter century ago to pass the time in quarantine :)
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,727
I've always thought Humphreys should have won the free skate at that event. And if the judges had stuck with Robinson ahead of Chouinard in the free, Humphreys would have won the event overall. I probably would have had it Humphreys, Chouinard, Robinson in the free, which would have made it Chouinard, Humphreys, Robinson overall. I share your confusion over the judging.

All I can come up with is that the judges were hung up on the lack of jump difficulty in Susan's program and not prepared to reward what she actually did do. I also think skate order played a factor. After Josee came out so tentatively, I feel like the judges wanted to reward what was perceived as a more aggressive skate from Jennifer, even if the skate didn't really warrant it.

(thank you to the kind soul who is uploading many full event from the 90s!).
You're welcome :) Let me know if you have requests...at the moment I'm working my way through everything I have for Canadian Nationals, but if you are looking for something else specific and I have it, I can switch things up.
 
Last edited:

Plusdinfo

Well-Known Member
Messages
270
Erin, thanks for your uploads!

I watched the event for the first time last week, and so much has happened in a week that I don't have "fresh thoughts", but I thought Josee's marks were a joke, especially in relation to others. Sorry, like her skating, like what I see of her personality, but her free was a disaster. The judges had no business putting her above Susan or Jennifer. That's what I remember from watching.

Also, having watched multiple events from Erin's channel, I have noticed that the ladies and almost all of the men got quite low marks, even skaters finishing in 2nd and 3rd. It's like only Elvis Stojko was worthy of home inflation at nationals and all the other lowly participants were given the message that their skating wasn't near a 5.9, almost never 5.8, and often not even a 5.7 or 5.6 level. Other counties didn't seem to do the same under 6.0.

Aside, instead of making a separate thread: Emanuel Sandhu was great in 1998 and 1999! Wish he'd maintained that output of completed jumps later in his career. Aside #2: Jeff Langdon does zero for me in terms of presentation. Find his marks baffling.
 

JoannaLouise

Official Toaster Oven Monitor
Messages
2,842
Thank you for all these videos! 😍
I'll definitely be watching 2010 Nationals later; I was there in person, but I don't think I ever watched the tv broadcast.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,484
She was so close on several occasions, but I'm so sorry that Tanya Bingert didn't hold it together in the ladies' free (in 1993 and 1994 particularly) and make the World Team.

She was an amazing power skater in the same category as Liz Manley, Midori Ito, and Tonya Harding.

So wonderful to see some of her skates via YouTube, I had only read about in the news or online.
 

nylynnr

Well-Known Member
Messages
803
I've always thought Humphreys should have won the free skate at that event. And if the judges had stuck with Robinson ahead of Chouinard in the free, Humphreys would have won the event overall. I probably would have had it Humphreys, Chouinard, Robinson in the free, which would have made it Chouinard, Humphreys, Robinson overall. I share your confusion over the judging.
The judges did award the free to Robinson, I think? I just re-watched the final flight (thanks for pointing it out, Honey!) and Robinson seemed an obvious winner to me, albeit with a disappointing performance. That final fall on the second loop would have been a deal breaker, had everyone else not been so disappointing. After Robinson, it was pretty much pick 'em between Chouinard and Humphreys.

I think, if a "body of work" selection process had been in use, Chouinard would have gone to worlds. If I remember correctly Skate Canada lobbied hard for her to return, and she had a good fall (no pun intended). But the majority of the judges called it as they saw it in the free skate.
 

honey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,083
The judges did award the free to Robinson, I think? I just re-watched the final flight (thanks for pointing it out, Honey!) and Robinson seemed an obvious winner to me, albeit with a disappointing performance. That final fall on the second loop would have been a deal breaker, had everyone else not been so disappointing. After Robinson, it was pretty much pick 'em between Chouinard and Humphreys.

I think, if a "body of work" selection process had been in use, Chouinard would have gone to worlds. If I remember correctly Skate Canada lobbied hard for her to return, and she had a good fall (no pun intended). But the majority of the judges called it as they saw it in the free skate.
I think in the free that Susan should have clearly been ahead of Josee, who landed only one lutz, (and if we’re being generous), a loop with a step out.

If I were SC though, I also would have awarded her those ridiculous marks in an effort to get her to worlds. She had made the GPF and was their only realistic choice to get someone in the top 10.

This is what makes no sense to me. They were obviously propping her up to a laughable point with that set of marks, but then backed out at the last moment to put Robinson in front of her? I could see it if Jennifer had nailed 5 triples. But she didn’t. She landed a toe, a loop and a lutz that was clearly on two feet. She also had a fall and three pops. Plus weak skating skills, average spins, no speed and a whole host of other things that were not great.

Anyway, I guess we’ll never know what the reasoning was. Just something I was pondering over last night :) Thanks, @Erin for uploading these! I have a real blank space in my own recordings from 95-97, so it’s been wonderful to re-watch these!
 

nylynnr

Well-Known Member
Messages
803
If I were SC though, I also would have awarded her those ridiculous marks in an effort to get her to worlds. She had made the GPF and was their only realistic choice to get someone in the top 10.
Sometimes, I think it's a mistake to assume an entire judging panel or federation has the same mindset. Some of the judges probably did go with Josee -- I don't have the breakdown -- and some thought, 'Josee was terrible here, she'll probably blow it at worlds, let's go younger.'
 

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
14,349
Skate Canada for a time was very big on rewarding attempts at the harder triples. I think Humphreys was hurt by not attempting a lutz or flip, and looking nowhere close to rotated on her loop. Do you really want to send someone to Worlds with only toe and salchow? Even in those days, her best case would be hoping just to qualify for the free skate (which she had missed at the 1994 Olympics). There would've been no outcome better for Humphreys than 20th place.

I wasn't as taken with her performance as others. Three of her four triples looked two-footed to me: both salchows (second one for sure) and the toe loop. Only the first toe loop was landed well.

Among the no-good choices, I think I would have gone with Chouinard, who at least had skating skills and choreography, but I don't blame the judges for losing patience. Josee crashed and crumbled so many times, and even her autumn performances had multiple falls (as usual). I loved her, but the girl was a disaster waiting to happen.

I suspect the judges went with Robinson because she showed guts, attempted / rotated more, and landed two of the hard triples (loop and lutz, though I couldn't tell if the lutz was two-footed; knowing her, it probably was).

Among Robinson v. Humphreys, I felt like Robinson had a prayer of a top 15 finish with similar content to the top ladies, whereas Humphreys looked like she was trying to qualify for 1982 Worlds.

ETA: Advanced the video, and yes, the lutz was two-footed, and the split was 6-3 for Robinson.
 

alchemy void

campaigning for Surya's 06 Olympic bronze
Messages
23,345
The replay showed Robinson's lutz was heavily two-footed. I did have to smile at the inevitable standing ovation.

I hate to be Debbie Downer, but the K&C reaction seemed a bit over a top for landing two clean triples. Michelle Leigh easily out-screams Robin Wagner here. :rofl:

One of my favorite parts of going through all these late 90s Canadian ladies events is how progressively despondent Barb gets as the competition goes on.
 

honey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,083
One of my favorite parts of going through all these late 90s Canadian ladies events is how progressively despondent Barb gets as the competition goes on.
My favourite part of of Barb as a commentator in the 90s was how she’d yell and cheer about how Savard-Gagnon/Bradet “nailed” the sbs triple toes, when it was two footed basically every time :D.
 

alchemy void

campaigning for Surya's 06 Olympic bronze
Messages
23,345
24 years later, here is the correct scoring:

Josee 5.0/5.7
Humphreys 5.1/5.6
Robinson 5.3/5.4

Josee wins with the only clean triple lutz of the competition. Robinson and Humphreys only had two clean triples each, and she definitely deserved a one triple advantage over these two.

Humphreys only had two footed toes and salchows, but her basics, choreography, and overall presentation was much better than Robinson.

Of course, if Josee made it to 1996 Worlds, how much does she bomb there? :p Without a clean SP, a top ten placement may have been difficult, as Kwiatkowski, Vorobieva, and Yokoya were doing 5 triple LPs with lutz and flip.
 
Last edited:

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
14,349
Of course, if Josee made it to 1996 Worlds, how much does she bomb there? :p Without a clean SP, a top ten placement may have been difficult, as Kwiatkowski, Vorobieva, and Yokoya were doing 5 triple LPs with lutz and flip.
Josee's short program was relatively consistent that year. I think if she had given her GPF performances at Worlds, she'd have been 4th in the short program: possibly as high as third (she beat Slutskaya in the short at the GPF and had home ice advantage), and certainly no lower than fifth.

The free skate is tougher: loop, salchow, two toe loops (neither in combo), and a stepped out flip. I would guess seventh (ahead of Ito), especially given home ice advantage, no worse than ninth behind Kwiatkowski.

If I use 4-7 (9.0 factored placements), she'd have ended up seventh, which seems about right. Third in the short could've placed her as high as fifth (edging out Bonaly and Szewczenko by 0.5 each). Even fifth in the short program and ninth in the free would've kept her seventh. That's also in line with her other Worlds finishes - 6, 5, 9, 5.
 

coppertop1

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,376
This is one of those events that will be debated forever. I don't know what else Skate Canada come have done. Here's my two cents:

I think Skate Canada definitely wanted to give it to Josee. She was the only skater who could make the top ten. She was definitely the strongest skater on the field. And yes, she was very generously scored.

But she didn't deliver. She had a meltdown, only landing one triple. There wasn't stiff competition. I think the CFSA may have lost confidence in her after that. If she skated like that at Worlds, she wouldn't be in the top ten. So, they took a chance on a a newbie. Robinson did show some spark and guts. I don't think Humphreys was a better bet than Jennifer.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,484
Sometimes, I think it's a mistake to assume an entire judging panel or federation has the same mindset. Some of the judges probably did go with Josee -- I don't have the breakdown -- and some thought, 'Josee was terrible here, she'll probably blow it at worlds, let's go younger.'
History and reputation seem to indicate that Chouinard was one of those skaters who did best when there were no expectations placed on her, or she was the underdog and could slip in under the radar.

A shame, because I remember when I saw her skate live and in person at the 1994 Canadian Championships (a week after having attended US Nationals), with a solid or exceptional performance in Lillehammer, she could have won the whole thing.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,484
This is one of those events that will be debated forever. I don't know what else Skate Canada come have done. Here's my two cents:

I think Skate Canada definitely wanted to give it to Josee. She was the only skater who could make the top ten. She was definitely the strongest skater on the field. And yes, she was very generously scored.

But she didn't deliver. She had a meltdown, only landing one triple. There wasn't stiff competition. I think the CFSA may have lost confidence in her after that. If she skated like that at Worlds, she wouldn't be in the top ten. So, they took a chance on a a newbie. Robinson did show some spark and guts. I don't think Humphreys was a better bet than Jennifer.
1996 was definitely the low point in Canadian ladies' skating. Much as I loved Susan Humphreys, Annie Bellemare and Angela Derochie, things really didn't start to turn around again until Joannie Rochette and Cynthia Phaneuf entered the scene 7 or 8 years later.
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,727
1996 was definitely the low point in Canadian ladies' skating. Much as I loved Susan Humphreys, Annie Bellemare and Angela Derochie, things really didn't start to turn around again until Joannie Rochette and Cynthia Phaneuf entered the scene 7 or 8 years later.
Yes, as someone who sat through some rough senior ladies events at Canadians, 2004 was the first year my friends and I looked at each other at the end of the event and said what a well-skated event it was.

I think there were signs of hope in the novice and junior ranks as early as 1999, though. Skaters such as Leah Hepner (1999 junior champ), Marianne Dubuc (2000 junior champ), Rochette (2000 novice champ and 2001 junior champ), Phaneuf (2nd in 2002 juniors), Signe Ronka (3rd in 2002 juniors), and Lauren Wilson (2002 junior champ) were all landing jump content that was superior to most of the senior field. Unfortunately, most of them didn’t have senior success for a variety of reasons, and in many cases the non-jump skills needed some work, but it was clear that the bar was being raised.
 

ErikWilliam

Well-Known Member
Messages
156
Oh, my... For the fs I’d have put it JSlo, Humphreys, and Josee third. Josee was clearly the most developed skater in her presentation, but this needed to be her last amateur competition.
 

Colonel Green

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,826
Josee was clearly the most developed skater in her presentation, but this needed to be her last amateur competition.
It wasn't, actually, her last amateur competition was the 1995-96 Champions Series Final (which, then, was held in February, so the Grand Prix having two years in its name actually made sense early on, whereas now it all takes place within one calendar year), where she won the bronze medal, beating, among others, Chen and Butyrskaya.

Skate Canada no doubt had their heads in their hands after that.
 

Marco

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,617
Hmm. Looks like it is a good event to rewatch and even rejudge (@alchemy void). Hopefully I can watch this over the weekend.

Separately, was there a clear policy that Skate Canada had to send the national champion to Worlds? I wish they had just let the judges do their work and judge the skating properly, and decide on the world team later. I haven't watched this but it sounds from the OP that the judges were somewhat torn between judging the actual skating and strategically allowing the right skater to get that Worlds ticket. Esp since GPF was after Nationals - wouldn't they want to decide on the sole world spot AFTER Josee gets to skate one more time internationally and closer to Worlds?

*then again, who knows how Josee would have skated if her GPF skates would decide her fate.
 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,484
Sadly, Robinson really struggled at the 1996 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada.

Being a global event on home ice, she was under a lot of scrutiny.

Though Jennifer started the competition well with a fifth place in the qualification round, she barely squeaked through to the free skate (placing 24th in the short) and 20th in the free to finish 21st overall.
 
Last edited:

ErikWilliam

Well-Known Member
Messages
156
It wasn't, actually, her last amateur competition was the 1995-96 Champions Series Final (which, then, was held in February, so the Grand Prix having two years in its name actually made sense early on, whereas now it all takes place within one calendar year), where she won the bronze medal, beating, among others, Chen and Butyrskaya.

Skate Canada no doubt had their heads in their hands after that.
I forgot that. I just remember Josee dropped another bomb in the fs there. Not as bad as Chen though. I think Chen’s dismal performance there cost her the world title weeks later.
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,727
Aside, instead of making a separate thread: Emanuel Sandhu was great in 1998 and 1999! Wish he'd maintained that output of completed jumps later in his career.
Well, it's not like he maintained that output of completed jumps that often early in his career either. Sandhu was consistently inconsistent. But he did really improve his basic skating between 2000 and 2001, and it's even more obvious watching the two years right after one another. It's interesting, because Sandhu's basic skating was originally similar to all of Joanne McLeod's other students that have come since, so I'm really curious what was done with Sandhu to improve that season and why it worked with him, but not for any of her other students.

Aside #2: Jeff Langdon does zero for me in terms of presentation. Find his marks baffling.
I think he could be really hit or miss, and it depended a lot on the program he had. I really liked the Quidam program he had in 2000, although the very unfortunate knee dislocation towards the end obviously mars it. That whole event was really a bad one for injuries/illnesses, between the Langdon mid-program injury, the Bourne/Kraatz pre-event withdrawal, Angie Derochie dislocating her shoulder putting on her costume, and Jayson Denommee's food poisoning causing some terrifying jumps in the free program and a mid-program withdrawal from the event.
 
Last edited:

blue_idealist

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,573
I recently watched the same video, but only Humphreys, Chouinard and Robinson. I would have probably given 2nd to Humphreys (in the free, anyway, didn't see the shorts) and kept Robinson in 1st. All skated rather poorly, but Robinson was the least bad, LOL.
 

Colonel Green

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,826
You're welcome :) Let me know if you have requests...at the moment I'm working my way through everything I have for Canadian Nationals, but if you are looking for something else specific and I have it, I can switch things up.
Congratulations, Meagan thinks you’re amazing:

 

essence_of_soy

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,484
Further to my post about Robinson being sent to the 1996 World Championships and barely making the free skate, I forgot that there was a home-advantage policy in place. Meaning, Jennifer would have been included in the free skate, irrespective of if she had qualified for the short or not. That policy, would have been extremely embarrassing for Canada, had she needed it.
 

Louis

Private citizen
Messages
14,349
History and reputation seem to indicate that Chouinard was one of those skaters who did best when there were no expectations placed on her, or she was the underdog and could slip in under the radar.
I loved Josee, but I'm struggling to see how there were expectations at Canadian Nationals. I mean, it was almost inconceivable that she could lose to either Robinson or Humphreys, yet somehow she did....

A shame, because I remember when I saw her skate live and in person at the 1994 Canadian Championships (a week after having attended US Nationals), with a solid or exceptional performance in Lillehammer, she could have won the whole thing.
Again, I loved Josee, and I agree that if she skated perfectly, she would've been a medal contender and possibly for gold. But even her Canadian Nationals performance had a fall and five triples total, with no true combo. Two of the triples probably would've been 0 to negative GOE. The Canadian Nationals performances probably would've had her fifth or sixth in Lillehammer (probably fifth overall and sixth in the free skate due to Sato's short program error), fourth at best. Anything higher would've required her to deliver something she never delivered before. I'm not sure she had even one performance in her entire career (1993 Canadians is the closest) where she landed anything close to her planned content.
 

Erin

Well-Known Member
Messages
9,727
I'm not sure she had even one performance in her entire career (1993 Canadians is the closest) where she landed anything close to her planned content.
And even there, she fell in the short program. I think her best combination of two programs was 1994 Canadians, even with the fall in the free skate. Replicating those skates at worlds probably would have earned her a bronze medal at 1994 Worlds at best, which still would have been great, but I agree we shouldn’t overstate what she could have done. I don’t think those skates would have been enough for the Olympic podium, although they could have been ahead of Bonaly.

Congratulations, Meagan thinks you’re amazing:

:lol: well, it is nothing compared to the uploading people do during the regular season, but I’m glad I’ve found something useful to do during this time besides exercise and practice French.
 

Habs

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,444
And even there, she fell in the short program. I think her best combination of two programs was 1994 Canadians, even with the fall in the free skate. Replicating those skates at worlds probably would have earned her a bronze medal at 1994 Worlds at best, which still would have been great, but I agree we shouldn’t overstate what she could have done. I don’t think those skates would have been enough for the Olympic podium, although they could have been ahead of Bonaly.



:lol: well, it is nothing compared to the uploading people do during the regular season, but I’m glad I’ve found something useful to do during this time besides exercise and practice French.
I love these Canadian Championships videos. Thanks, @Erin!!
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top
Do Not Sell My Personal Information