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)


Results are only viewable after voting.

escaflowne9282

Reformed Manspreader
Messages
3,553
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
I don't think Katsalapov is like Moir at all. His style of movement, his use of his torso, and the visual effect his overall presence has with his partner is completely different . He also really had to learn how not to chew the scenery as a performer once he stopped skating with Ilynikh.

While I was never a fan of Charlie White's, or D&W in particular, I also don't see that many comparisons here either. Charlie's / D&W's strength was that they skated with tremendous speed within their steps and movement and no music was too much for them to keep up with. They had close holds and jammed in a lot of transitions and their twizzles were impressive
IMHO, they also tended to sacrifice posture , line and positioning and body rhythm and, for me ,had a very ragged rushed quality that just wasn't my bag.
Whereas Nikita-S&K finally found consistency in slowing down their movements and taking their time while maintaining speed and ice coverage . S&K's skating is also relatively open. Katsalapov's twizzle technique :shuffle:

Nikita is his own person. He is much improved and now a contender , but there no need to make him someone else.
 

Areski

Well-Known Member
Messages
673
DomShabs did a fabulous CD in Vancouver, and that's the best I can say about all three teams.

But really it was superb. They should have led by more.

ETA: and their FD introduced me to that gorgeous piece of music from The Double Life of Veronique, so it wasn't a total loss ;)

Their infamous Original Dance though overshadowed them completely. Just thinking about it makes me cringe.

But they were fantastic skaters anyway - especially in compulsories, if not for Shabalin's knee issues they'd have achieved more I reckon.
 

Rukia

A Southern, hot-blooded temperamental individual
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16,221
I never even saw this poll the first time, but I voted for the Shibutanis because I feel they were underappreciated and deserved more hahaha.
 

Impromptu

Sekret Custom Title
Messages
2,226
Take the question as you will...it could either be best team overall, best performance at the actual Olympics, who you like the best, who had your favorite programs, etc.
  1. 1980: Irina Moiseeva/Andrei Minenkov (URS)
    1. Can't find videos of their compulsories
    2. Free Dance: Don't know the music but it's a cool program (Worlds because the Olympics video I found was poor quality)

Ok, I don't know what orchestras are performing these cover versions, but that's a combination of Verdi's "Anvil Chorus" and I think "St. James Infirmary" (possibly two different versions of the latter).
 
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35
The ones who I think have an argument:

-Usova & Zhulin 1992: IMO a much stronger free dance this season than their 1994 one when they very nearly won the Olympic Gold, and robbed of winning the silver that year by the fact Duchensays were reigning World Champions on their home ice.

-Torvill & Dean 1994: Their argument is that they are the only bronze medalists who have a valid case for possibly winning the gold. As each of the 3 medalists that year have a valid case for possibly winning the gold. However that is in part since probably none of the 3 medalists had free dances that would have made them a great Olympic Gold medalist that year.

-Anissina & Peizerat 1998: They did not skate as well as they did at worlds that year, where without Gritschuk & Platov they arguably should have won. Still a possible case. Their case is weakened by that they faltered in their outstanding Original dance of that season, which was truly the best Original dance in the world that year. If they did their Original jive dance like worlds, plus their worlds free dance they would have a great case.

-Ilinykh & Katsalapov 2014: They were outstanding this year, a big surprise after years of unfulfilled potential, and probably win gold if they weren't competing against 2 of the best teams of all time who were at their peak.

I am baffled anyone is saying Domnina & Shabalin in 2010. Only their compulsory dance (which desrved their 1st place) was good that year, and they probably did not even deserve the bronze ahead of Belbin & Agosto and Faiella & Scali. And the Eurosport comment about them winning Olympic Gold any year but that year was just hyperbolic comedy, completely untrue. With that awful original dance and strained free dance, they probably don't even medal most other years, even with the politics in their favor.

Someone saying Fusar Poli & Margalio in 2002 is even stranger. They skated so poorly they nearly became the first World Champions ever to miss the Olympic podium.

Those 2 teams would be 2nd and 3rd last of the entire list, only beating Grushina & Goncharov from 2006.
-
 

AngieNikodinovLove

Amber’s 3 Axel for Nats
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9,552
I totally thought Torvill and Dean deserved gold again in 94 and was surprised at their marks

I also think Maia and Alex should’ve been higher

BTW I totally miss classic style ballroom dancing in ice dancing like Jayne and Chris did with let’s face the music and dance and was pleased as punch when Maia and Alex used that music as well
 

Andora

Skating season ends as baseball season begins
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11,829
A&P in 1998 certainly put me in a quandary. I was such a homer fan for B&K (who were admittedly better in 1997), and I wanted to hate the French team for "displacing" the "hard done by" Canadian team (according to CBC & CTV)... But A&P had one of the best Free Dances of ALL TIME that year. Hard to believe it was the same team that fell down the standings a bit in 1997. They deserved every ounce of their Olympic medal, and I understood the leapfrogging over B&K that & proceeding years. Plus, Riverdance was trash. That's right, I said it. I only wish I understood it then. :lol:

(BTW, 1997 was one of the all-time greatest years for Ice Dance programs, especially the top three)

I totally thought Torvill and Dean deserved gold again in 94 and was surprised at their marks

I also think Maia and Alex should’ve been higher

BTW I totally miss classic style ballroom dancing in ice dancing like Jayne and Chris did with let’s face the music and dance and was pleased as punch when Maia and Alex used that music as well
Higher? In 2018? Higher than who? :lol:
I did quite enjoy the Shibs that season, don't get me wrong, I just can't see them ahead of two epic greats in 2018, but I'm always open to arguments!
 
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I did love the Shibutanis original dance in 2018. In fact it was my favorite that season. Their free dance was not my favorite of theirs compared to some of their others. I think I liked their free dances of all the 3 previous seasons more in fact. The ironic thing is they were 4th in the original dance and won their bronze in the free dance though. The 3 way US rivalry between Chock & Bates, Hubbell & Donohue, and the Shibutanis was so much fun that quad. Particularly since I don't think there was any love lost between any of the 3 teams, particularly the Shibutanis and Donohue.

I understand Anissina & Peizerat falling down in the 96-97 season. Their free dance was garbage that season, Moniotte & Lavanchy returned in good form, and Bourne & Kraatz legitimately improved a lot in the 96-97 season, one of the few seasons I thought they weren't visibly overrated. I was worried about their future at that point but glad they began a comeback in 97-98 with amazing original and free dance programs the judges had to recognize.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
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39,774
I did love the Shibutanis original dance in 2018. In fact it was my favorite that season. Their free dance was not my favorite of theirs compared to some of their others. I think I liked their free dances of all the 3 previous seasons more in fact. The ironic thing is they were 4th in the original dance and won their bronze in the free dance though. The 3 way US rivalry between Chock & Bates, Hubbell & Donohue, and the Shibutanis was so much fun that quad. Particularly since I don't think there was any love lost between any of the 3 teams, particularly the Shibutanis and Donohue.
Oh yeah, things were obviously tense with the top three leading up to Pyeongchang. Although Chock/Bates and Hubbell/Donohue seemed to be able to maintain a friendship, and it has blossomed even more since then, there was obviously something going on with the Shibs vs. C/B and H/D that was building. The last few times the Shibs beat H/D, Zach did not look happy, but it's understandable in hindsight. Zach and Madison obviously are still a big part of the ice dance community as they transitioned into coached while it also seemed like the Shibs sort of lost a lot of contact with the skating world outside those they were close friends with and a few Japanese skaters.

That all said, it's funny because the SOI tour after the Olympics, Maia did a group number with Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue and I have to say Maia and Zach looked good together. Of course, we all know Madison and Zach look good together.

Angle 1

Angle 2 (Close Up)
 

SidelineSkater

Well-Known Member
Messages
436
IThe ironic thing is they were 4th in the original dance and won their bronze in the free dance though. The 3 way US rivalry between Chock & Bates, Hubbell & Donohue, and the Shibutanis was so much fun that quad. Particularly since I don't think there was any love lost between any of the 3 teams, particularly the Shibutanis and Donohue.

The Shibs were 4th in the SD by .02, so it was razor thin. As a then-Shibs uber, I still wonder what would have happened had Zachary not fallen on the choreo element at the end. They received zero points and a one point deduction for the fall. Base value was 1.00 and the +3 GOE system still in place. At maximum they would have earned 3 points, so taking out the fall would be an additional 4 points - and would still need another point in PCS to pass the Shibs total score. Would the judges gone with an all IAM podium?

I also wonder where Chock/Bates would have ended up had they not had the terrible double fall going into their dance spin? My guess would have been 7-8.
 

Icetalavista

Well-Known Member
Messages
939
This was a fascinating walk thru the evolution of ice dance. For me best overall were Klimova and Ponamarenko. Clean, crisp, versatile. Hard to separate 17 yr old Klimova from the goddess who crushed (rightly) the Duschenays.

But a very very close second- Wilson and McCall. What technicians. I LOVED their tango OD. Hadn’t seen their free in a while, but so intricate and clean. But then blasted Dick Button had to say one of their compulsory patterns was””noticeably smaller” than the other teams. Oh well.

It is really impossible to compare teams like O’Connor/milns with later teams because the style and requirements of the dances have changed so much. They had the incredible posture, confidence, and precision of their era. You could really see their great edges in the waltz.

Honorable mention: Shibs.

I loved A&P’s R&J, but always thought the times she lifted him were gimmicky and forced and disrupted flow.
 

Icetalavista

Well-Known Member
Messages
939
Also fun to hear Button snark at the Russians for supposedly using dramatic moves to cover up technical flaws. 😅

Tracy Wilson was pretty blunt about T&D’s compulsories looking rusty. Ouch. But their Rhumba was smokin’.

TBH I could hardly watch G&G’s FD. They were everything I did not like about the Uber dramatic style, all in one package.

And Barbara and Mauricio’s flamenco.. yikes, just glad they didn’t get injured.
 
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I also remember watching O'Connors & Millns and being really impressed with their dancing, particularly thinking this was 76 standards. Dick Button who isn't really biased in favor of Americans in dance the way he is in say ladies where he is too biased in favor of Kwan/Cohen/Yamaguchi/Hughes/Kerrigan etc..to give his comments any real credence, but not in dance, seemed to suggest they were in fact stronger skaters and technicians than both the gold and silver medalists that year. I really enjoyed their athletic yet entertaining, straightforward approach to dancing in their performances I saw. Definitely earned their medal that year. It is so hard to compare to later years though.
 

VGThuy

Well-Known Member
Messages
39,774
O'Connors/Millns may be the first skaters ever to skate to "Send in the Clowns". It seems like such a classic standard now, but back in 1976, the song was only three years old and didn't become a big hit until Judy Collins did a cover of it in 1975, a year or less before O'Connors/Millns skated to it.
 

Icetalavista

Well-Known Member
Messages
939
Another thing I noticed about O’Connor/Milns is that they truly skated as one unit in their quickstep. Rock solid. Still difficult to compare with F-P/Marg’s quickstep. Different angles etc, and TV flattens patterns.
 

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