How would 1996 and 2000 Olympics have gone

vanillashake

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The last 2 Winter Olympics of the Millenial and last 2 after the staggering of the Winter and Summer Olympics would have been super interesting. And it may have provided an opportunity for certain skaters to shine. I am also assuming there is no reinstatement for the 96 Games as reinstatement idea ended by spring 95 anyway, but those who want to assume reinstatement for the 96 Games can do so as well.

I can see something like this.

1996 Olympics

Pairs

Gold- Shishkova & Naumov- This is the team I would be most excited of all to have a 96 Olympics. They were always a super unlucky team. Including at the 96 Worlds where they went undefeated all season, but had their worst outing of the season at worlds. All the other top teams also made mistakes though, and even though they had 4 1st place votes they somehow wound up 4th in a mishmash of ordinals. They could have had bad luck again at the actual Olympics but I would bet on them being the odds on favorite to win, assuming no reinstated pros, and even if there were Sergei Grinkov had passed away, Lloyd Eisler would be too old to be a serious favorite by then, and no way Miskutienok & Dmitriev could hang around together to be on top level by then considering their personal rift growing (he would probably already be with Kazahkova in fact even now).

Silver- Kovarikova & Novotny- I assume they stick it out for a 96 Games. And since the won the 95 worlds they would probably be in good position to be a contender for both a medal or gold at a hypothetical 96 Games.

Bronze- Meno & Sand- Probably not the favorites to medal, in theory Eltsova & Bushkov and Woetzel & Steuer would both have a better shot. Or even Brasseur & Eisler if they stuck around. However they always seemed to wind up with a suprise bronze somehow. I am guessing somehow fate would shine on them and they do it again.


Men

Gold- Kulik- Stojko and Eldredge both seem cursed at the Olympics, and Stojko bombed and missed the podium at the actual 96 worlds, while Eldredge had a subpar season apart from Worlds. Urmanov was cursed at big events outside the 94 Olympics. It could be any of those but I see this as the safest guess.

Silver- Eldredge or Urmanov

Bronze- Candelero- Similar to the Meno & Sand thing. He always seems to sneak in for surprise bronzes when nobody expects him.

In addition to Kulik, Stojko, Eldredge, Candelero, Urmanov, Galindo might have been a medal contender this year if he stuck it out for 96 and still hit his 96 peak form.


Dance

Gold- Gritschuk & Platov

Silver- Usova & Zhulin- I assume they stick it out for 96 for sure, but if they couldn't even beat G&P in 94, they are even less likely to do it in 96, especialy with their personal rift growing all the time, and aging.

Bronze- Rahkammo & Kokko- I assume they stick it out for 96, and would be in a good position to medal, especialy with Moniotte & Lavanchy's injury. Krylova & Ovsiannikov were really rising at this point though and would give them a tough battle, but the judges dont usually like podium sweeps anyway so they probably are in good shape.


Ladies

This is the most hard to predict event. A whole hodgepodge of things could happen. Do Baiul, Kerrigan, or Sato stick it out for the 96 Games. What shape is Chen is if she is not the 95 World Champion anymore and does not bomb her 95-96 season only to skate great at worlds but get snubbed by the judges. Chen was always politically behind Baiul when they competed with each other, despite that she was older and there first.

Kwan is another big question mark. She claims to have only snuck out to do her senior test since there was a 94 Games. I would guess based on her own statement her first senior year is now 94, not 93. She probably does not even make it to the 95 worlds anymore, and certainly does not come 4th with the impetus to redefine her style as she was so close to the top. She might make it to the 96 Games, but I doubt she would be at her 96 level of skating or a serious contender as her whole trajectory is set back a whole year now based on her own statement.

Gold- Baiul or Chen or Sato
Silver- Kerrigan (although I doubt she stays for 96 but is probably a contender if she does) or Sato
Bronze- Bobek or Chen or Bonaly

Someone else will have to do this one as I have too hard a time with it. I also doubt Harding is a big factor even if she stays.
 

vanillashake

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2000 Games

Pairs

Gold- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze

Silver- Kazahkova & Dmitriev- I assume they stick it out for 2000

Bronze- Shen & Zhao or Petrova & Tikhonov- Petrova & Tikhonov hit their peak in 2000 so this would have been their best shot of a medal, and with the inconsistent skating of everyone else this season could have even contended for gold.

Sale & Pelletier, Woetzel & Steuer (who probably stay for 2000) are also contenders and maybe Abitol & Bernadis and possibly an American team like Meno & Sand (if they stay) or Ina & Dungen (if they now stay together)


Men

Gold- Yagudin

Silver- Kulik- I assume Kulik stays in for a 2000 Olympics for sure.

Bronze- Eldredge- Judges don't like sweeps and Plushenko was erratic in big events at this point so Eldredge or Stojko or even Weiss or Candelero (typical Oly bronze surprise) would probably take the bronze instead.


Dance

Gold- Anissina & Peizerat

Silver- Fusar Poli & Margalio

Bronze- Drobiazko & Vanagas

I see nothing change here. I don't see Gritschuk & Platov staying for a 2000 Olympics at all.


Ladies

Gold- Slutskaya

Silver- Butyrskaya or Kwan

Bronze- Lipinski or Kwan

I assume Tara stays in for 2000 so all 4 of Slutskaya, Butyrskaya, Kwan, Lipinski are contenders but I think on a typical day Irina wins this year. At worlds Kwan had to skate perfect and have Slutskaya and Butyrskaya both make mistakes to win, and given her Olympic history I doubt she is on the frontline for gold in the odds. Chen might stay for 2000 but I doubt she would be a contender by then.
 

bardtoob

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Kerrigan would have retired with an Olympic Bronze if there was no 1994 Olympics.

Kwan had already out skated all the Sr. Ladies at 1993 US Nationals.

1996: Kwan Vs Lulu Vs Baiul Vs Bobek Vs Bonaly

2000: Kwan Vs Slutskaya Vs Lipinski Vs Butyrskaya
 

vanillashake

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Kerrigan would have retired with an Olympic Bronze if there was no 1994 Olympics.

Kwan had already out skated all the Sr. Ladies at 1993 US Nationals.

1996: Kwan Vs Lulu Vs Baiul Vs Bobek Vs Bonaly

2000: Kwan Vs Slutskaya Vs Lipinski Vs Butyrskaya
If you believe Kwan's own words she would not even have been at the 1993 US Nationals. 1994 would have been her debut at Senior Nationals. I don't know where she would have been by 1996 in that case, but safe to say it would have been behind what she was at in the actual time 1996. Although I suppose she still might have climbed enough to be a contender but I think it would have been hard, most likely she would be around where she was in 1995 in which case she would not be a contender in a field that had more skaters than either 1995 or 1996.

I agree Kerrigan would not have stuck it out until 1996. That is why I said in brackets I doubt she stays for 96. From what I read it was a push for the Scotvolds to even get her to stay until 1994, and they had to work really hard on getting her to agree to it, and had to push the idea "with Kristi and Midori gone you can win worlds, the Olympics are only 2 years, and you are a real contender to win...." to finally convince her to stay.
 

essence_of_soy

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I'm sorry that Bobek wasn't named to the 1996 World Team. Her exclusion opened the door for Tara Lipinski, allowing the 13 year old to be 'grandfathered' in.

If it hadn't been for her two jumping errors in the free skate, Bobek was agonisingly close to winning gold at the 1995 World Championships. She skated my favourite routines of all the ladies that season.

I'm sad too, that Midori Ito didn't compete in more events in the lead up to the 1996 World Championships. She looked so nervous and unsettled in Edmonton, too.

Josee Chouinard could have been another contender, and after her disastrous national championships, came back to make the podium at the Championship Series Final in Paris.
 
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olympic

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1996 - I agree that NK would have retired in 1992 if there had been no Lillehamer event in 1994. So, the competition would have been Lu v. Sato [thinking she would have stuck around, since she did not have a long competitive career to that point, and she enjoyed performing as evidenced by her pro career] v. Kwan as the upstart. I also think there would have been a bigger push to have Bobek included in the US line-up for 1996, but that is a wild card. Baiul would have been there to at least make an attempt at what would have been her only Olympic appearance, but growth and / or injury issues would have probably made her presence less notable than in 1994. Obviously Bonaly and Szewczenko would have been there [as they were at '96 Worlds] to make the final group interesting, and I think Chouinard would have stuck around until 1996. I also think Slutskaya an Butyrskaya would have represented Russia.
 

giselle23

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1994 Nationals was the Nancy Kerrigan knee-whack event. Would that have happened if it hadn't been an Olympic year? Probably not. So it would have been Harding and Kerrigan first/second and Michelle third. Michelle would not have made the World team that year. Where would Harding and Kerrigan have placed at 1994 Worlds? Kerrigan would probably have been first or second and Tonya would have done better than she did at the 94 Olympics without the scandal. So three spots for 1995. Do Kerrigan and Harding stay in in 95? And there is Bobek, too. Bobek beat Michelle at 1995 Nationals so if we assume that again, it is true Michelle might not make the World team. Harding is a big question mark. She was off her game by this time. But if Kerrigan is retired, Michelle makes the World team and still finished 4th at least, in my opinion. She actually should have finished higher, as the only skater that year to skate two clean programs. Does anyone really think the possibility of Tonya Harding being there would have made a difference ? In 1996, Michelle would still have won Nationals(unless Tonya knee-whacked her!) and maybe the Olympics. She would have been second, at least. Fast forward to 2000 and there is no reason to believe Michelle would not have won Olympic gold this year, given that she won gold at Worlds with one of her very best skates. I think a relatively clean Irina always beats Butyrskaya and Olympic judges were not going to put a 7-triple Michelle, with a 3-3, second.

ETA: I forgot about Lipinski. Would her hip have lasted until 2000 without the drive to win the Olympics in '98? I wish we could have had several years of a Michelle-Tara-Slutskaya rivalry. It would have been epic.
 

olympic

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@giselle23, I think the CW is that Kerrigan would have been gone after the 1992 Olympics, so Kerrigan would not have been present in any way for the 1994 season.

I do think that Harding would have faded even more after 1994, scandal or no-scandal. She just lacked the discipline to be on top of her game. But, she was an attention-seeker and may have tried for 1996, as much as a trainwreck as that would have been to watch. The 1996 U.S. Olympic team would probably have been Kwan, Bobek, Kwiatkowski [all selected over Harding IF she was continuing].

Lipinski competed at '96 Worlds, but did the IOC have different rules regarding age eligibility than the ISU??? But then even if Lipinski would have been eligible, I tend to think that the USFSA would have still sent the aforementioned trio, maybe giving Lipinski a shot at post-Olympic Worlds as 'the future' in place of one of Bobek or Kwiatkowski.
 

vanillashake

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Ito's comeback was forced by the Japanese fed. She never wanted to actually come back and it showed in her skates at the 96 Worlds. Although her skates at the 96 Japanese Nationals probably still win her atleast bronze at the 96 Worlds.

1994 Nationals was the Nancy Kerrigan knee-whack event. Would that have happened if it hadn't been an Olympic year? Probably not. So it would have been Harding and Kerrigan first/second and Michelle third. Michelle would not have made the World team that year. Where would Harding and Kerrigan have placed at 1994 Worlds? Kerrigan would probably have been first or second and Tonya would have done better than she did at the 94 Olympics without the scandal. So three spots for 1995. Do Kerrigan and Harding stay in in 95? And there is Bobek, too. Bobek beat Michelle at 1995 Nationals so if we assume that again, it is true Michelle might not make the World team. Harding is a big question mark. She was off her game by this time. But if Kerrigan is retired, Michelle makes the World team and still finished 4th at least, in my opinion. She actually should have finished higher, as the only skater that year to skate two clean programs. Does anyone really think the possibility of Tonya Harding being there would have made a difference ? In 1996, Michelle would still have won Nationals(unless Tonya knee-whacked her!) and maybe the Olympics. She would have been second, at least. Fast forward to 2000 and there is no reason to believe Michelle would not have won Olympic gold this year, given that she won gold at Worlds with one of her very best skates. I think a relatively clean Irina always beats Butyrskaya and Olympic judges were not going to put a 7-triple Michelle, with a 3-3, second.

ETA: I forgot about Lipinski. Would her hip have lasted until 2000 without the drive to win the Olympics in '98? I wish we could have had several years of a Michelle-Tara-Slutskaya rivalry. It would have been epic.
Obviously you are also missing the part of Kwan admitting she would not have snuck out to take her Senior test a year early had there been no 1994 Olympics. Her timeline is changed so everything does not stay the same as you are having it. It is still very possible she could be a contender by 1996, but everything does not stay exactly the same as you have it either (2nd/3rd at 94 Nationals, 4th at 95 Worlds, etc...). That is excluding that Baiul and Sato almost certainly stay in for 96, although Baiul could be on decline with her injury and changing body by 95, let alone 96.

I highly doubt Kerrigan does stay around as I said, but in a world she stays until 1994 and 1995 knowing there is a 1996 Olympics, no way she retires after 1994 or 1995 either. Obviously the only reason she would still be skating in 1994 and 1995 would be she decided she wanted the 1996 Olympics. I think Harding stays until 1996 for sure, but I agree with you she isn't a contender at all. She was already on decline bigtime by the 92 worlds, she would be hard pressed to make a 96 Olympic team period, even if Kerrigan retires.

The 2000 worlds was a rare outing for Michelle that season, it is a good 30% better than she skated at any of her other events that season. Add to that her Olympic history and the odds of her producing the same skates at the 2000 Olympics she did at the 2000 worlds are probably roughly 5% or so. Also even if she does, Irina still had to skate a subpar 6 triple program to barely lose to Michelle, which probably does not happen most times, so she still likely loses. Maria also would have beaten Michelle at the 2000 worlds had she skated a clean long program, so the same scenario might hold true at a 2000 Olympics, Maria probably does not do this, but like I already said Michelle probably does not skate as well as she did at the actual 2000 worlds given her Olympic history and general skating that season either. And Tara beat Michele at the 98 Olympics which was by far Michele's best Olympic outing, so it just depends if her technical ability declined with her hip problems, if it didnt and her artistry and general elements quality improved with age (which predictably happens) anything could happen for her, other than I am sure she never beats a clean Irina with a 3-3 even with her own 3-3s. Michelle might not even medal at a hypothetical 2000 Olympics IMO, and I would be surprised if she won.
 

vanillashake

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@giselle23, I think the CW is that Kerrigan would have been gone after the 1992 Olympics, so Kerrigan would not have been present in any way for the 1994 season.

I do think that Harding would have faded even more after 1994, scandal or no-scandal. She just lacked the discipline to be on top of her game. But, she was an attention-seeker and may have tried for 1996, as much as a trainwreck as that would have been to watch. The 1996 U.S. Olympic team would probably have been Kwan, Bobek, Kwiatkowski [all selected over Harding IF she was continuing].

Lipinski competed at '96 Worlds, but did the IOC have different rules regarding age eligibility than the ISU??? But then even if Lipinski would have been eligible, I tend to think that the USFSA would have still sent the aforementioned trio, maybe giving Lipinski a shot at post-Olympic Worlds as 'the future' in place of one of Bobek or Kwiatkowski.
I think Harding would have gotten up for Nationals like she did in 94 and atleast bumped Kwiatkowski who was never a USFSA favorite off the team. Although if Kwiatkowski skated like she did at the 96 Nationals, it would have been hard for Harding to beat her unless she had her triple axel.

I also think Bobek never is as out of shape for the 96 season as she was if it is an Olympic season, especialy if she still has her great 95 season. There is no way she does not push herself 100% to try for an Olympic medal now. In 98 she showed up at the Games out of shape after her decent Nationals but she was never in as good of place in international standing by then as 95/96 and she knew it, so the motivation would not be the same.

You also seem to have ignored the part I mentioned Michelle herself said she would not have snuck out to take her senior test a year early if there was no 94 Games. I still assume she very likely makes the 96 Games, but her position might not be nearly as strong, especialy internationaly.
 

giselle23

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Michelle was probably a 90+% short program skater so her mistake in 2000 (I can't even remember what it was) likely wouldn't have happened at a hypothetical 2000 Olympics. It is hardly fair to claim that her "history" with the Olympics made her unlikely to win that year. In 1998, she skated two clean programs! I think it very likely she could have skated a long program like she did at 2000 Worlds at the Olympics with a clean short, making her the clear winner no matter how Bute and Slute skated.
 

vanillashake

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Michelle was probably a 90+% short program skater so her mistake in 2000 (I can't even remember what it was) likely wouldn't have happened at a hypothetical 2000 Olympics. It is hardly fair to claim that her "history" with the Olympics made her unlikely to win that year. In 1998, she skated two clean programs! I think it very likely she could have skated a long program like she did at 2000 Worlds at the Olympics with a clean short, making her the clear winner no matter how Bute and Slute skated.
Her 98 Olympics skate was FAR below her 2000 worlds skate, very slow and cautious (the fact she was slow as molasses that night was probably an even bigger factor in her loss to Tara as her not doing a 3-3), 2 shaky landings, and no 3-3, so even that isn't really a good comparative reference to her skating as well at the Olympics. And her 98 Olympics skate would never beat Irina at her best, probably would not even beat the subpar Irina of the 2000 worlds, especialy with how far up Irina's ass the judges were that year.

And her short at the 2000 worlds was clean. She had a shaky landing on one jump but was very clear by the scores even without it still would have been 3rd, or at best a distant 2nd behind Maria, and even that would only be because Irina also had an equally shaky landing on one jump.
 

giselle23

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Her 98 Olympics skate was FAR below her 2000 worlds skate, very slow and cautious (the fact she was slow as molasses that night was probably an even bigger factor in her loss to Tara as her not doing a 3-3), 2 shaky landings, and no 3-3, so even that isn't really a good comparative reference to her skating as well at the Olympics. And her 98 Olympics skate would never beat Irina at her best, probably would not even beat the subpar Irina of the 2000 worlds, especialy with how far up Irina's ass the judges were that year.

And her short at the 2000 worlds was clean. She had a shaky landing on one jump but was very clear by the scores even without it still would have been 3rd, or at best a distant 2nd behind Maria, and even that would only be because Irina also had an equally shaky landing on one jump.
Won't be arguing this anymore, since it has morphed into the old discussion of the 1998 Olympics, where there is far from universal agreement about Michelle's allegedly "slow and cautious" skate. You have your opinion about Irina's "best." I have mine. I'll leave it at that.
 

vanillashake

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Won't be arguing this anymore, since it has morphed into the old discussion of the 1998 Olympics, where there is far from universal agreement about Michelle's allegedly "slow and cautious" skate. You have your opinion about Irina's "best." I have mine. I'll leave it at that.
Sure I am cool with that. I like that you don't insult me even though you disagree with me like many people attacked us for our opinions on Chen in the Chen/Papadakis & Cizeron thread as if we were kicking someones puppy.

I do think judges definitely like Irina better than Tara though. Rightly or wrongly but they do. It is as obvious as the judges liking say Medvedeva better than Pogorilaya. Irina has beaten Michelle many times in a program or competition landing the same number or even fewer triples which Tara would never manage. Both are more technical skaters, and I find Tara more polished than Irina, but the judges like Irina's huge jumps and excellent spins both which Tara does not possess more. Plus Tara is a flutzer which always carries a stigma of sorts, while Irina has one of the purest lutzes. In fact most of Tara's big successes are needing to skate perfect with her famed triple loop-triple loop while the other contenders failed, not just Michelle. She doesn't even have to option to not always go for her 3-3s and be competitive, which Irina does.
 

vanillashake

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And for what it is worth I prefer Tara's skating to Irina's. That is immaterial though, it is only what the judges think. I am not a fan of Irina's skating at all and made that abundantly clear on my France/Russia/U.S/Canada skater threat. The judges sure are though, they were salivating to award her many more than 2 major titles if she didn't constantly mess up when it mattered. Tara had to overearn most of her wins and medals.
 

mackiecat

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Harding quit after 92 Olympics and only came back due to the switch of years. Therefore she wouldn’t be there in 1996
 

vanillashake

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Harding quit after 92 Olympics and only came back due to the switch of years. Therefore she wouldn’t be there in 1996
Are you basing that on the movie (which had a lot of inaccurate edits and falsely represented facts) are do you know this for sure? It is moot for me since unlike Kerrigan (if she stayed for 96 which I don't think she does), I don't think she is any sort of contender by 96 based on her trajectory anyway, but just curious.
 

Karen-W

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Harding quit after 92 Olympics and only came back due to the switch of years. Therefore she wouldn’t be there in 1996
She did? How come she placed 4th at 1993 Nationals then?

It's fair to say she might have chosen to retire after 1992 had it not been just 2 years until the next Olympics, but she certainly didn't retire after 1992 and come back for solely the 1994 season. She competed both seasons.
 

bardtoob

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The 2000 worlds was a rare outing for Michelle that season, it is a good 30% better than she skated at any of her other events that season. Add to that her Olympic history and the odds of her producing the same skates at the 2000 Olympics she did at the 2000 worlds are probably roughly 5% or so. Also even if she does, Irina still had to skate a subpar 6 triple program to barely lose to Michelle, which probably does not happen most times, so she still likely loses. Maria also would have beaten Michelle at the 2000 worlds had she skated a clean long program, so the same scenario might hold true at a 2000 Olympics, Maria probably does not do this, but like I already said Michelle probably does not skate as well as she did at the actual 2000 worlds given her Olympic history and general skating that season either. And Tara beat Michele at the 98 Olympics which was by far Michele's best Olympic outing, so it just depends if her technical ability declined with her hip problems, if it didnt and her artistry and general elements quality improved with age (which predictably happens) anything could happen for her, other than I am sure she never beats a clean Irina with a 3-3 even with her own 3-3s. Michelle might not even medal at a hypothetical 2000 Olympics IMO, and I would be surprised if she won.
:smokin: Who's your crack supplier? Kwan had 1 good competition at the Olympics. Maria and Irina had none. Kwan earned the same medals as Irina over two Olympics that Irina earned in three. Kwan was way more likely to perform well at the Olympics in comparison to these two. Kwan had a 50% chance of beating both of them, but even then Kwan had to get past others.

Kwan vs Lipinski vs Hughes vs Sasha Cohen vs NNN vs Angela Nikodinov would have made for an interesting 2000 US Nationals. I don't know what Lipinski would have changed, but Kwan certainly improved her spins.
 
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olympic

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2000

I think this is easier to parse than 1996. The top contenders would have been Kwan, Slutskaya, Butyrskaya and Gusmeroli, who gave us some of her best performances ever in 2000.

IMO, Lipinski would have tried to continue to 2000, since it would have been her only Olympics if 1996 had been the year of the previous games. Team Lipinski may have paced themselves differently if the Olympics were further away. Then again, she was ambitious and would have probably been performing the 3L-3L at various comps until injury. The bigger question is would her team have decided to back off / taken time off at the right time during that Olympic cycle so she would have been able to heal? Would Lipinski have been a shadow of what we saw in 1998? On the national front, she may have been displaced by a consistent Sarah Hughes in 2000. Nikodinov was the Fridge Break Gal w/ regular inconsistencies at this point in time and Lipinski w/ simple programs may have still beaten her for a final berth. Bobek was pretty much done after 1998. I remember her attempting to compete in 1999, then disappearing.

U.S. Olympic team - Kwan, Hughes, Lipinski [probably]

The aforementioned [Kwan, Slute, Bute, Gusmeroli, Lipinski] are basically the top 6 at Nagano 1998 minus Chen Lu, who I do not think would have lasted until 2000. I think participation at 2 Olympiads and a probable medal in 1996 would have been enough, and if you consider what exhausting events occurred in her life after 1996, I think she would have been retired by 2000.

Another intriguing person in the mix would have been Sasha Cohen. She broke out at 2000 Nationals but was quite young. I don't know if she was age-eligible. I think one had to qualify thru Jr. Worlds at the time? If so, that would have probably conflicted w/ an Olympics in February.

Others -

Soldatova / Volchkova - Soldatova was 1999 World Bronze medalist and Volchkova was new to seniors at the time. They both competed at 1999 Worlds but I think both caught a break due to Slutskaya being out of contention. I think there would have been some sort of intrigue because both would have been competing for Russia's spot #3 (I believe Russia would have had 3 spots for 2000), and both had their crack-ups at various moments. Soldatova was turning into a mess by 2000. Maybe Russia would have decided after Euros like they did for 2000 Worlds anyway and ended up picking Volchkova

Malinina: She was top 10 in Nagano and a threat to the podium in 1999, but I don't recall her standing in 2000, I do think she probably would have been somewhere in the mix for the 2000 Olympics.

Szewczenko: Up and down from 1993-1998, and a brutal health issues before Nagano. Her competitive standing really faded after 1998 Worlds. I honestly don't know if she would have pursued a chance to compete in 2000 and paced accordingly. I think she went for it because 1998 was an Olympic year, but could she have maintained herself until 2000?

Bonaly: She was a personality type that would have tried to go for it and was on the pro circuit after 1998, so she enjoyed the audience, but I don't think it would have amounted to much by 2000. By 1996, she was battling injuries and was really falling out of favor w/ the establishment.

Interestingly, no prominent Japanese, other Asian or Canadian ladies in this time frame. I think Yoshie Onda was JPN's lone representative at 2000 Worlds? Fumie Suguri had a break out of sorts in 2001, but don't know if she would have been any sort of factor if the Olympics were in 2000. Jennifer Robinson was CAN's usual participant at Worlds around this time (?) but she never really made a dent in the top standings.
 
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vanillashake

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2000

I think this is easier to parse than 1996. The top contenders would have been Kwan, Slutskaya, Butyrskaya and Gusmeroli, who gave us some of her best performances ever in 2000.

IMO, Lipinski would have tried to continue to 2000, since it would have been her only Olympics if 1996 had been the year of the previous games. Team Lipinski may have paced themselves differently if the Olympics were further away. Then again, she was ambitious and would have probably been performing the 3L-3L at various comps until injury. The bigger question is would her team have decided to back off / taken time off at the right time during that Olympic cycle so she would have been able to heal? Would Lipinski have been a shadow of what we saw in 1998? On the national front, she may have been displaced by a consistent Sarah Hughes in 2000. Nikodinov was the Fridge Break Gal w/ regular inconsistencies at this point in time and Lipinski w/ simple programs may have still beaten her for a final berth. Bobek was pretty much done after 1998. I remember her attempting to compete in 1999, then disappearing.

U.S. Olympic team - Kwan, Hughes, Lipinski [probably]

The aforementioned [Kwan, Slute, Bute, Gusmeroli, Lipinski] are basically the top 6 at Nagano 1998 minus Chen Lu, who I do not think would have lasted until 2000. I think participation at 2 Olympiads and a probable medal in 1996 would have been enough, and if you consider what exhausting events occurred in her life after 1996, I think she would have been retired by 2000.

Another intriguing person in the mix would have been Sasha Cohen. She broke out at 2000 Nationals but was quite young. I don't know if she was age-eligible. I think one had to qualify thru Jr. Worlds at the time? If so, that would have probably conflicted w/ an Olympics in February.

Others -

Soldatova / Volchkova - Soldatova was 1999 World Bronze medalist and Volchkova was new to seniors at the time. They both competed at 1999 Worlds but I think both caught a break due to Slutskaya being out of contention. I think there would have been some sort of intrigue because both would have been competing for Russia's spot #3 (I believe Russia would have had 3 spots for 2000), and both had their crack-ups at various moments. Soldatova was turning into a mess by 2000. Maybe Russia would have decided after Euros like they did for 2000 Worlds anyway and ended up picking Volchkova

Malinina: She was top 10 in Nagano and a threat to the podium in 1999, but I don't recall her standing in 2000, I do think she probably would have been somewhere in the mix for the 2000 Olympics.

Szewczenko: Up and down from 1993-1998, and a brutal health issues before Nagano. Her competitive standing really faded after 1998 Worlds. I honestly don't know if she would have pursued a chance to compete in 2000 and paced accordingly. I think she went for it because 1998 was an Olympic year, but could she have maintained herself until 2000?

Bonaly: She was a personality type that would have tried to go for it and was on the pro circuit after 1998, so she enjoyed the audience, but I don't think it would have amounted to much by 2000. By 1996, she was battling injuries and was really falling out of favor w/ the establishment.

Interestingly, no prominent Japanese, other Asian or Canadian ladies in this time frame. I think Yoshie Onda was JPN's lone representative at 2000 Worlds? Fumie Suguri had a break out of sorts in 2001, but don't know if she would have been any sort of factor if the Olympics were in 2000. Jennifer Robinson was CAN's usual participant at Worlds around this time (?) but she never really made a dent in the top standings.

Sasha had to medal at Junior Worlds in 2000 to be able to go to Worlds by ISU rules so I don't think she was age eligible. Maybe the same rule would have applied for the Olympics, I don't know, and maybe she doesn't blow up at Junior Worlds if that is the case.

I agree even if Lipinski does not pace herself better, still has major hip problems, she could beat Nikidinov off the team easily with watered down programs. She was a much bigger favorite of the USFSA and her rep in the sport was a lot higher. If Hughes is not grandfathered into the Olympics by the same rules as worlds, Cohen is still ineligible, and Lipinski retires, it is amazing to think who the 3rd person would be. Amber Corwin? Would the U.S even still have a 3rd spot or bother to use it.

Volchkova was a big favorite of the Russian fed and Soldatova was already falling out of favor by 2000 which is why she switched nationalities. I am sure Volchkova gets the 3rd spot.

Malinina could have been a bit contender in 2000 but was too inconsistent. She hit her peak in 99 where she won the Grand Prix final and despite being 4th just barely missed the silver at worlds (would have also won silver without a silly mistake in the short), maybe if there was a 2000 Olympics she is more motivated and keeps her 99 level but she would still need her peak performances and mistakes by the favorites to medal probably.

Japanese girls definitely no factor at all for 2000.

I agree Gusmeroli could have been a contender. She hit her peak skating at 2000 Europeans and 2000 worlds. She didn't medal both times since she bombed the silly Q round but that would not be there for the Olympics. If the 2000 worlds is duplicated she lost 3rd place in the long to a flawed Butyrskaya by a 5-4 split. In a new situation she might be placed 3rd in the long. However if Butyrskaya is still 1st in the short to Gusmeroli's 4th she still doesn't medal even then. However in the new timeline does Butyrskaya still win the 99 worlds. If she doesn't Butyrskaya might not win the short since while I think she deserved it; not sure if she judges place her above a clean Slutskaya and clean Kwan in the short especialy doing an easier solo jump, when her rep was never that high up until then. That is assuming all the skates stay the same which again is not neccessarily so and a big assumption as I said earlier.

Probably Slutskya, Butyrskaya, Kwan the main 3 contenders, and Butyrskaya only a gold contender with the other 2 if she still won the 99 worlds. A probably weakened Lipinski, Malinina, Gusmeroli, and maybe Hughes if she is able to go as the dark horses. I don't see Volchkova as even an outside medal shot in this field anymore, maybe outside for top 5.

I would like if Szewcenko's health coincided with letting her compete, but I doubt she would have been able to be the contender she was in 98.

I agree Bonaly is no factor at all although she might opt to compete (she might not even make the French team though depending how many spots they have, and how strong Hubert is this year).
 
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olympic

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9,160
Sasha had to medal at Junior Worlds in 2000 to be able to go to Worlds by ISU rules so I don't think she was age eligible. Maybe the same rule would have applied for the Olympics, I don't know, and maybe she doesn't blow up at Junior Worlds if that is the case.

I agree even if Lipinski does not pace herself better, still has major hip problems, she could beat Nikidinov off the team easily with watered down programs. She was a much bigger favorite of the USFSA and her rep in the sport was a lot higher. If Hughes is not grandfathered into the Olympics by the same rules as worlds, Cohen is still ineligible, and Lipinski retires, it is amazing to think who the 3rd person would be. Amber Corwin? Would the U.S even still have a 3rd spot or bother to use it.

Volchkova was a big favorite of the Russian fed and Soldatova was already falling out of favor by 2000 which is why she switched nationalities. I am sure Volchkova gets the 3rd spot.

Malinina could have been a bit contender in 2000 but was too inconsistent. She hit her peak in 99 where she won the Grand Prix final and despite being 4th just barely missed the silver at worlds (would have also won silver without a silly mistake in the short), maybe if there was a 2000 Olympics she is more motivated and keeps her 99 level but she would still need her peak performances and mistakes by the favorites to medal probably.

Japanese girls definitely no factor at all for 2000.

I agree Gusmeroli could have been a contender. She hit her peak skating at 2000 Europeans and 2000 worlds. She didn't medal both times since she bombed the silly Q round but that would not be there for the Olympics. If the 2000 worlds is duplicated she lost 3rd place in the long to a flawed Butyrskaya by a 5-4 split. In a new situation she might be placed 3rd in the long. However if Butyrskaya is still 1st in the short to Gusmeroli's 4th she still doesn't medal even then. However in the new timeline does Butyrskaya still win the 99 worlds. If she doesn't Butyrskaya might not win the short since while I think she deserved it; not sure if she judges place her above a clean Slutskaya and clean Kwan in the short especialy doing an easier solo jump, when her rep was never that high up until then. That is assuming all the skates stay the same which again is not neccessarily so and a big assumption as I said earlier.

Probably Slutskya, Butyrskaya, Kwan the main 3 contenders, and Butyrskaya only a gold contender with the other 2 if she still won the 99 worlds. A probably weakened Lipinski, Malinina, Gusmeroli, and maybe Hughes if she is able to go as the dark horses. I don't see Volchkova as even an outside medal shot in this field anymore, maybe outside for top 5.

I would like if Szewcenko's health coincided with letting her compete, but I doubt she would have been able to be the contender she was in 98.

I agree Bonaly is no factor at all although she might opt to compete (she might not even make the French team though depending how many spots they have, and how strong Hubert is this year).
I think like you do:

The battle for the podium would've been Kwan v. Slutskaya v. Butyrskaya. Amazing that these three occupied the podium at both 1998 Worlds and 2000 Worlds. Butyrskaya and Kwan were 1-2 at 1999 Worlds. No doubt they would've been the leaders at a 2000 Olympiad.

Gusmeroli would've been the biggest dark horse, but Lipinski would've been hard to predict due to her hip issues. She could've been anywhere from a fighting for the podium to out of the competition. I think a watered-down performance from Lipinski could've garnered 5th place considering the field. Hughes was super consistent and ambitious w/ no pressure. I think she could've been as high as 6th place.

I looked at results from 2000 Worlds and while Malinina was great at 1999 Worlds, she bombed at 2000 Worlds and never really figured into a Worlds / Olympics after that. I don't know if she would've been a factor in that light.
 

vanillashake

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I think like you do:

The battle for the podium would've been Kwan v. Slutskaya v. Butyrskaya. Amazing that these three occupied the podium at both 1998 Worlds and 2000 Worlds. Butyrskaya and Kwan were 1-2 at 1999 Worlds. No doubt they would've been the leaders at a 2000 Olympiad.

Gusmeroli would've been the biggest dark horse, but Lipinski would've been hard to predict due to her hip issues. She could've been anywhere from a fighting for the podium to out of the competition. I think a watered-down performance from Lipinski could've garnered 5th place considering the field. Hughes was super consistent and ambitious w/ no pressure. I think she could've been as high as 6th place.

I looked at results from 2000 Worlds and while Malinina was great at 1999 Worlds, she bombed at 2000 Worlds and never really figured into a Worlds / Olympics after that. I don't know if she would've been a factor in that light.
Yeah Tara without her triple loop-triple loop is unlikely to contend for a medal unless her artistry and element quality really progressed. She was never artistically superior to any of her competitors, and always had smaller jumps and weaker spins, she relied entirely on superior content and consistency.

Some skaters might have been able to peak at a different time if the Olympics were in 2000. Maybe Malinina would have been able to peak in 2000 rather than 1999, but even if she did she would be a dark horse at best for the podium. She was a big contender in 1999 largely since the field was weak. Gusmeroli is probably a slightly better dark horse since while Malinina at her best is a stronger jumper than Vanessa, she is probably even more inconsistent, and Gusmeroli's Legend of the Falls was an amazing program and could get top artistic marks which Malinina always struggled with getting.
 

vanillashake

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270
1996 - I agree that NK would have retired in 1992 if there had been no Lillehamer event in 1994. So, the competition would have been Lu v. Sato [thinking she would have stuck around, since she did not have a long competitive career to that point, and she enjoyed performing as evidenced by her pro career] v. Kwan as the upstart. I also think there would have been a bigger push to have Bobek included in the US line-up for 1996, but that is a wild card. Baiul would have been there to at least make an attempt at what would have been her only Olympic appearance, but growth and / or injury issues would have probably made her presence less notable than in 1994. Obviously Bonaly and Szewczenko would have been there [as they were at '96 Worlds] to make the final group interesting, and I think Chouinard would have stuck around until 1996. I also think Slutskaya an Butyrskaya would have represented Russia.
I think Baiul's jumping largely declined since she had a knee injury but due to all her contracts keep competing and performing and it didn't heal properly. Even with her growth spurt I could see her being at her 93-94 level of jumping at a hypothetical 96 Olympics. Not sure if even that is enough or not. If she still has her 93-94 and possibly 95 success she has a big reputation edge on all of Chen, Sato, young Kwan (who as I said is probably set back a year in her timeline anyway), and the others, which could help carry her through if she can just manage 5 or 6 cleanish triples which is usually her norm.
 

magnuslarson

Banned Member
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1996 pairs- Gold Kovarikova & Novotny, Silver Shishkova & Naumov, Bronze Woetzel & Stoeur
1996 men- Gold Eldredge, Silver Stojko, Bronze Urmanov
1996 dance- Gold Gritschuk & Platov, Silver Usova & Zhuliln, Bronze Krylova & Ovsiannikov
1996 ladies- Gold Baiul, Silver Sato or Kerrigan, Bronze Chen

2000 pairs- Gold Sale & Pelletier, Silver Petrova & Tikhonov, Bronze Berezhnaya & Sikhardlidze
2000 men- Gold Kulik, Silver Plushenko, Bronze Yagudin
2000 dance- Same as 2000 worlds
2000 ladies- Gold Slutskaya, Silver Kwan, Bronze Lipinski or Butyrskaya
 

magnuslarson

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1994 Nationals was the Nancy Kerrigan knee-whack event. Would that have happened if it hadn't been an Olympic year? Probably not. So it would have been Harding and Kerrigan first/second and Michelle third. Michelle would not have made the World team that year. Where would Harding and Kerrigan have placed at 1994 Worlds? Kerrigan would probably have been first or second and Tonya would have done better than she did at the 94 Olympics without the scandal. So three spots for 1995. Do Kerrigan and Harding stay in in 95? And there is Bobek, too. Bobek beat Michelle at 1995 Nationals so if we assume that again, it is true Michelle might not make the World team. Harding is a big question mark. She was off her game by this time. But if Kerrigan is retired, Michelle makes the World team and still finished 4th at least, in my opinion. She actually should have finished higher, as the only skater that year to skate two clean programs. Does anyone really think the possibility of Tonya Harding being there would have made a difference ? In 1996, Michelle would still have won Nationals(unless Tonya knee-whacked her!) and maybe the Olympics. She would have been second, at least. Fast forward to 2000 and there is no reason to believe Michelle would not have won Olympic gold this year, given that she won gold at Worlds with one of her very best skates. I think a relatively clean Irina always beats Butyrskaya and Olympic judges were not going to put a 7-triple Michelle, with a 3-3, second.

ETA: I forgot about Lipinski. Would her hip have lasted until 2000 without the drive to win the Olympics in '98? I wish we could have had several years of a Michelle-Tara-Slutskaya rivalry. It would have been epic.
Kerrigan nearly retired after 92 and only stayed since there was a 94 Olympics. No way she stays for 1996 whether she could have been a big contender or not. She never really loved competing the way people like Yamaguchi or Kwan did, and was perfectly happy retiring with her 91 and 92 medals. Only the 2 year gap got her to continue.
 

magnuslarson

Banned Member
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:smokin: Who's your crack supplier? Kwan had 1 good competition at the Olympics. Maria and Irina had none.
Butyrskaya had a pretty good competition at the 98 Olympics but lost the bronze by .1 to an inspired Lu Chen. Great performance by Kwan, Lipinski, Chen just pushed her out, she was unlucky to wind up in such an inspired Games.
 

bardtoob

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Butyrskaya had a pretty good competition at the 98 Olympics but lost the bronze by .1 to an inspired Lu Chen. Great performance by Kwan, Lipinski, Chen just pushed her out, she was unlucky to wind up in such an inspired Games.
I am glad you bring this up.

I am glad to see Maria rightfully got 3rd in the SP despite being first to skate of 28. Her 3Lz-2Lp, 3Lp, 2A were impressive, considering Lipinski's 3Lz-2Lp, 3F, 2A and Kwan's 3Lz-2T, 3T, 2A. Probably the best skating of Maria's career. I actually think the technical elements were superior to Lipinski's because they had more height and distance. Had she skated later with the same quality, she probably would have beaten Lipinski and possibly Kwan. (Kwan really should have done the 3F a la US Nationals instead of the 3T.)

Unfortunately, Maria was severely out of sync with the music in the LP and all her jumps were not solid, which caused Otonal to fall flat. Skating last in the LP, she could have upset Lipinski.
 
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Tony Wheeler

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I’m 100% convinced that Butyrskaya gave away the bronze medal by giving up towards the end and sulking around for 30 seconds following her program. She was over it and didn’t even wait for the marks to show up— it’s a miracle she was as close to bronze as she was.

I’ve always thought this long program was one time where Slutskaya should’ve been ahead of her, but Irina was given a gift in the short anyways.
 

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