Best Olympic Bronze Medal Winning Ice Dance Team

  • Other: 1976: O'Connor/Millns (USA); 1980: Moiseyeva/Minenkov (URS); 1984: Klimova/Ponomarenko (URS)

  • 1988: Tracy Wilson & Robert McCall (CAN)

  • 1992: Maya Usova & Alexander Zhulin (EUN)

  • 1994: Jayne Torvill & Christopher Dean (GBR)

  • 1998: Marina Anissina & Gwendal Peizerat (FRA)

  • 2002: Barbara Fusar-Poli & Maurizio Margaglio (ITA)

  • 2006: Elena Grushina & Ruslan Goncharov (UKR)

  • 2010: Oksana Domnina & Maxim Shabalin (RUS)

  • 2014: Elena Ilinykh & Nikita Katsalapov (RUS)

  • 2018: Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (USA)


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gk_891

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4,241
mmm I disagree

But using objective technical standards is what makes figure skating a sport. Otherwise, it would be more like an American Idol type of contest where people simply vote for who they like. If it's based on that instead of objective technical standards, figure skating probably has no place in sports at all. Especially at the Olympics.
 

gk_891

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4,241
K/O were over-rated to me. She was just too distractingly theatrical. She makes EI look shy and retiring.

I will always admire that R&J program from A/P though.

I also found them very overrated. I didn't care for her stiff back or their tense handholds. A lot of their issues were very evident in the compulsories. A lot of the compulsory dances looked like a lot of work for them. And then of course their facial expressions in the OD and FD.

One dance of theirs that got a lot of acclaim was their 1998 Jive OD. But I wasn't all that impressed.
 

overedge

G.O.A.T.
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30,573
I believe reading somewhere that Wilson and McCall's free dance was considered by several important judges the standard other teams should emulate. They really should have won the gold in Calgary with that skate, just as Torvill & Dean should have won a second gold with their comeback skate in Lillehammer.

I believe that FD was actually used in ISU judge training seminars as an example of a great program.

I chose Wilson and McCall because (a) they should have won and (b) they didn't get to compete at another Olympics. T&D should have won, too, but they already had an OGM.
 

museksk8r

Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy
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3,469
This is too hard! How can I possibly choose between Usova/Zhulin, Anissina/Peizerat, Ilinykh/Katsalapov?
 

Bunny Hop

Queen of the Workaround
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6,938
As for T & D, in '94 they were somewhat of a shadow of their former selves in the free. Why try to please the IOC? Why not be themselves? They only ended up with the bronze anyway. That's something I've never really understood.
I don't think they were a shadow of their former selves in the free (definitely in the compulsory dances though), but am a big fan, so I'm biased. I agree about the rest. I believe they thought they were giving themselves the best chance of winning by doing what the ISU claimed they wanted (there was a lot of noise at the time about wanting to get ice dance back to its ballroom roots) but it didn't pay off. Usova/Zhulin went the same route with the same result. Instead the judges went with the couple with the flahsy, crowd pleasing steps. With the benefit of many years of hindsight I think the result was correct, but it's taken me a long time to get to that point! :lol:

If it had all just been based on the Original Dance, however, I think T&D would have won hands down.
 

caseyedwards

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16,794
I can’t help but think of Blumberg and siebert! They were totally on their way the Olympic bronze. They were so so so close. So what happened ultimately why did they lose it? They just at the last second placed 4th. I could watch the programs and try to figure it out based on the skating but I don’t believe that would really be helpful.

“They carried a No. 3 world ranking into the 1984 Sarajevo Olympics and were in line for a bronze medal when an Italian judge ruled that their dance music -- 'Scheherazade' -- was 'inappropriate and more suited for Ice Follies.'”
 
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blue_idealist

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2,611
Domnina and Shabalin. Their CD got 1st place. Unfortunately they were against D/W and V/M and with that awful OD and his bad strapped up knee ended up with bronze .I loved them. As commentators said any other olympics that FD would have been good enough for gold but against these two teams no:rolleyes:

I'm hard-pressed to see the D/S FD winning gold at any other recent Olympics, except maybe 2014.
 

caseyedwards

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One thing I really appreciated about DomShabs pre-Linichuk was just how much content they were able to do. When he was healthy, they had that raw power and Russian technique that really would have made them so formidable in Vancouver. Did they rush him out of recovery in time for 2009 Worlds and his knees just got worse or was his injury after 2009 Worlds?
The injury was before 2008 worlds. It’s arguably why delobel and shoenfelder became world champions.
“Shabalin had surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee in December 2007, but the couple came back in time to compete at last year's Europeans, where they won the title. He injured the knee again in March 2008”

The knee injury was almost the entire quad!
 
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caseyedwards

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16,794
It’s the same old story! I would love to hear how d/s could have done a Russian or any real folk dance AND still do a free dance. Especially now knowing his knee injury was in 2007 and 2008 and 2009 saw terrible reinjuries that happened after he took months off in 2008
 
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timwarpingout

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I think it would probably be Usova & Zhulin in 92. That year was a super deep field, and even if their free dance wasn't loaded with content per say, it was still a great overall program and performance, as their performances in each phase were. I had them beating the Duchensays in fact, even if with the Games and France and the Duchensays being reigning World Champs that probably wouldn't have happened unless they fell.

Ilinykh & Katsalapov are also a great choice. There was no way anyone was going to get ahead of Virtue & Moir or Davis & White that year. I don't think many would have ever picked them for the bronze. They had been inconsistent underachievers, mistake prone, generally dissapointed after all the hype from them coming out of juniors, and were firmly ranked behind their teammates up to that point, even if many always thought they were the more talented team with far more potential. To break out like this and win the bronze over teams like Pechalat & Bourzat by a wide margin. I think they were about the same margin in points behind silver medalists Virtue & Moir as they were ahead of Pechalat & Bourzat in 4th, and by a much bigger margin in the free dance, which was a pretty commanding showing for a team that wasn't picked as one of the more likely bronze medalists.
 

VGThuy

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35,350
I wasn’t that surprised that the judges went crazy over I/K once they skated with some semblance of discipline and fire. They’ve been waiting to reward them for a long time and it was their dysfunctional relationship (add Morosov complicating things) that prevented them from being more consistent with results prior. Plus, with the Olympics in Sochi, their choice of program, etc. it was like the Olympics made for them.
 

timwarpingout

New Member
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I wasn’t that surprised that the judges went crazy over I/K once they skated with some semblance of discipline and fire. They’ve been waiting to reward them for a long time and it was their dysfunctional relationship (add Morosov complicating things) that prevented them from being more consistent with results prior. Plus, with the Olympics in Sochi, their choice of program, etc. it was like the Olympics made for them.

I felt so bad for Pechelat & Bourzat. What a buzzsaw and impossible situation for them to run into.
 

VGThuy

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35,350
Upon rewatching 1992 Euros and the Olympics, I have to say...I think Grishuk/Platov were already outskating Usova/Zhulin. I know this may be an unpopular opinion but...compare the content and speed of their FDs. I also think Usova/Zhulin's costumes were way better at Euros/Worlds that were more "classical theatre" than the "cool" and "modern" ones they decided to wear in Albertiville. I guess they wanted to fit in with the avant-garde trend of the early 1990s at the Olympics. I don't know how the factored placements would work with the CDs and ODs remaining the same, but I would have had 1. K/P, 2. G/P, 3. U/Z, & 4. D/D in the FD (a part of me wants to put G/P first in the FD, still giving gold to K/P).

Shibutanis were great and really held it together there, but they wouldn't be my choice because the FD, for me, was less effective than 2016.
...
I'm surprising myself here, but I'm giving my vote to Usova/Zhulin in 1992.
I'm found this interesting because that's how I felt about U/Z's 1992 routines in comparison to their 1991 ones. Obviously Andrew Lloyd Weber is not Vivaldi, but both FDs were going for the same feeling and tone but their Paganini Variations was just more interesting to me and fresher than their Four Seasons FD the following season. Maybe that's why they changed their costumes for the Olympics because their costumes at Euros/Worlds were very similar to their 1991 ones.
 
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Bigbird

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1,937
I felt so bad for Pechelat & Bourzat. What a buzzsaw and impossible situation for them to run into.
They needed a more mature program. They already did similar programs with Zhulin that were much better like the circus? Their Chaplin program was just pure gold not to mention the Mummy program that I lurved. I think sadly they just peaked before Sochi and they were a tad tight.
 

escaflowne9282

Reformed Manspreader
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3,330
They needed a more mature program. They already did similar programs with Zhulin that were much better like the circus? Their Chaplin program was just pure gold not to mention the Mummy program that I lurved. I think sadly they just peaked before Sochi and they were a tad tight.
I loved that program , as cutesy as it was , it fit them perfectly. It's so funny how so much of the work they did with Zhulin was very inventive and interesting, and the work he's done the past few seasons... :shuffle:

I was disappointed for P&B , but I figured the judges were invested in the future for I&K.

What was so frustrating in retrospect is that I&K split at the end of the season . Furthermore, Sochi was the only time they ever skated like they had potential as they frequently fell and made mistakes and lost titles and medals they should have walked away with. I vastly preferred Ilynikh to Sitnitsina.
 

gk_891

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4,241
Upon rewatching 1992 Euros and the Olympics, I have to say...I think Grishuk/Platov were already outskating Usova/Zhulin. I know this may be an unpopular opinion but...compare the content and speed of their FDs. I also think Usova/Zhulin's costumes were way better at Euros/Worlds that were more "classical theatre" than the "cool" and "modern" ones they decided to wear in Albertiville. I guess they wanted to fit in with the avant-garde trend of the early 1990s at the Olympics. I don't know how the factored placements would work with the CDs and ODs remaining the same, but I would have had 1. K/P, 2. G/P, 3. U/Z, & 4. D/D in the FD (a part of me wants to put G/P first in the FD, still giving gold to K/P).


I'm found this interesting because that's how I felt about U/Z's 1992 routines in comparison to their 1991 ones. Obviously Andrew Lloyd Weber is not Vivaldi, but both FDs were going for the same feeling and tone but their Paganini Variations was just more interesting to me and fresher than their Four Seasons FD the following season. Maybe that's why they changed their costumes for the Olympics because their costumes at Euros/Worlds were very similar to their 1991 ones.
I also think G&P were outskating U&Z in 1992. They demonstrated much better content as well as power and glide. In Albertville, my placements were:

Paso Doble CD
1. K&P
2. G&P
3. U&Z

Blues CD
1. K&P
2. G&P
3. D&D (although I did not see how the Finns or Hungarians did in this particular dance)

Polka OD
1. K&P
2. G&P
3. M&L (Moniotte & Lavanchy - I thought their OD that year was outstanding, way more so than U&Z or D&D)

Free Dance
1. K&P
2. G&P (still one of my favourite free dances from them)
3. U&Z
 

caseyedwards

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16,794
I loved that program , as cutesy as it was , it fit them perfectly. It's so funny how so much of the work they did with Zhulin was very inventive and interesting, and the work he's done the past few seasons... :shuffle:

I was disappointed for P&B , but I figured the judges were invested in the future for I&K.

What was so frustrating in retrospect is that I&K split at the end of the season . Furthermore, Sochi was the only time they ever skated like they had potential as they frequently fell and made mistakes and lost titles and medals they should have walked away with. I vastly preferred Ilynikh to Sitnitsina.
I believe it has been katsalapov who was the main source of all the problems for I/k and s/k and his recent maturity has been allowing them to be consistently winning major competitions! I mean from 2010 to like 2017 in the first GP of the season I/k and s/k were total disasters. Remember their nhk trophies when he would drop his partners and theyd get level 1 step sequences?! Lol. The common thread there was katsalapov. I said at the time I strongly supported I/k breaking up because no one ever did worse with higher expectations ever!! But maybe he just had to mature and blamed all the wrong things. Like ilinykh affair with Morozov. He is like really amazing now. He’s almost both white and moir in one. He merges all of white physicality and moir grace
 
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Bigbird

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1,937
I believe it has been katsalapov who was the main source of all the problems for I/k and s/k and his recent maturity has been allowing them to be consistently winning major competitions! I mean from 2010 to like 2017 in the first GP of the season I/k and s/k were total disasters. Remember their nhk trophies when he would drop his partners and theyd get level 1 step sequences?! Lol. The common thread there was katsalapov. I said at the time I strongly supported I/k breaking up because no one ever did worse with higher expectations ever!! But maybe he just had to mature and blamed all the wrong things. Like ilinykh affair with Morozov. He is like really amazing now. He’s almost both white and moir in one. He merges all of white physicality and moir grace
Katsalapov has improved because he's slowed down and he is not trying to outdo his partner but rather he's working hard to present her. He has smoothed out. But to compare him to Moir is a bit much. He's mellowed and he works hard, but beyond that....... The skater who I really wish put his twizzles together was Poje. Now Poje was a partner who knew how to present his girl while milking a moment. He just has a quality, none of the other men possess well except Moir.
 

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