IF all ladies skated cleanly in Calgary '88 ....

olympic

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How would the results have changed?

The SP - IIRC, the mistakes that effected the top tier the most were from Trenary (slight 2 ft. on 3F combo), Leistner (fall on a spin!) and Ivanova (frankly can't remember her SP). How would clean SPs from them effected the standings after the SP? I think Trenary would have passed Kadavy in 5th, but would she have jumbled the standings between Manley and Ito? Had she executed a clean 3F at all that year? Would Leistner of Ivanova w/ clean programs effected the top 6 at all? It seems Witt, Manley, Ito and the 3 Americans clean would have stayed ahead of them based on historical perspective.

The LP - Thomas skating clean may have made the biggest shake-up to the podium. She executed a clean 3-3 and 3L at Nationals, so she may have been able to pass Witt on the tech mark, which was IIRC, the tie-breaker in 88 (not in the 90s), and may have been able to outright win. Witt's Carmen was IMO a step down from WSS and the judges weren't kind to her on tech in the LP. Was she capable of a clean 3L that season? I don't recall her landing one at any competition after 87 Worlds. Manley had 5 triples including a 3Z but no combos and she was skating in front of her home country, but something about that program left me :huh: . Kadavy was absent but it seemed like the skating establishment had abandoned her judging by the SP and Trenary doubled a couple of jumps, but I still don't think Trenary would've made it to the podium

And I know Ito is a fave, but she was buried in the figures and skated arguably the most inspirational programs in Calgary, so there was no room for her to go higher in the standings if Thomas and Trenary also went clean. All of Witt, Manley, Thomas and Trenary were ahead of her as it was:

1. Thomas
2. Witt
3. Manley
4. Trenary
5. Ito
6. Kadavy
 

jenny12

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I agree with your standings. I re-visited the 88 Olympics recently and it does make me feel sad for Debbie since she really had a chance to win. Witt’s technical scores were not the high (the artistic scores were ridiculously inflated) so there was definitely room for Debbie if she skated clean with her triple triple. I think Witt’s program is kind of a joke looking back: tons of posing and empty stroking. It seemed like she was dated in 88 compared to all the other women.
 

Louis

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Last time I watched, I thought there was a case for Kadavy to win the short. The Ina into 3Lo2Lo was flawless, and the program was divine.

I think I’d have ranked it:

SP:
1. Kadavy
2. Trenary (if clean - few can do that combo even today)
3. Thomas
4. Witt
5. Ito
6. Manley

Given the quality of Trenary’s combo, I’d bump her existing performance to fourth, behind Witt but ahead of Ito and Manley.

FS:
1. Ito
2. Witt (assuming 3Lo)
3. Thomas
4. Manley
5. Trenary

Ito’s free skate was remarkable, so far ahead of the rest of the competition technically that it was almost laughable. She jumped like she was suspended from the rafters (to paraphrase Toller Cranston) and she had an exuberant joie di vivre that gave me chills. Her content (2A+1Lo+3S; 3T+3T in the second half of the program) would have been competitive for another 30 years. In another time (e.g., Baiul, Lipinski, Hughes), the judges would have had the courage to give this the gold medal it deserved, at least in the free skate. She got the marks she deserved in 1988 in 1989.

I liked Witt better than most. This type of character performance was, for better or worse, a turning point in ladies skating, an important moment in history. If she landed all five triples, I’d have had her ahead of her five triple peers even if she lacked a lutz, flip, or triple-triple.
 

orbitz

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10,348
Witt did a little posing and acting at the start of her slow section, but many people to this day still act as if all Witt did for the entire 4 minutes of her free skating was pose and flirted with the judges. She landed 4 triples and 2 double axels. Ok, so the triples were 2 toes and 2 sals, but they were nicely done; The opening triple toe was "smashing" (to quote Uncle Dick.)

I'm not sure Thomas would've won if she had landed her 3-3. She was nearly flawless, had better body line and a harder combination than Witt in the SP, but the judges still had Witt first in that segment. Thomas often double-foot her 3sal in previous LPs, and her 3loop covered little distance and had no flow on the landing. Choreography-wise, I think Witt's Carmen was more entertaining to watch and certainly more memorable, while Debbie's was just straight forward skating with music in the background.
 

olympic

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9,588
1:16 minutes of preening and posing to be exact. I timed it. That is 25-30% of the program. Honestly, the judging panel low balling her obviously indicated that they were willing to put a clean Debi in front of her. To win, Debi did not even have to beat Manley to secure the OGM and I think her LP content sufficed to accomplish that. Secondly, did Witt ever do a 3L that season ? I think Debi's imperfect but clean 3L would still beat a doubled jump.

Ito - I appreciate her and no doubt her tech prowess cannot be denied, but there was stiill a need to develop the artistic quality in her overall skating that would happen leading up to Albertville, but it was not quite there in 88. I am fine with the judge's marks: 5.9 for tech and 5.5 -5.7 for artistry
 
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LarrySK8

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Tough one! IF you go by jump and spin content:

Ito (combos and all triples); Trenary (3FL); Kadavy (2 3L); Claudia (3L; 3Fl); Ivanova (3L), Manley (3Z and 3L) and Debi (3T-3T; 3 L) all had very good content! Ito superior by far. Witt could be 8th in the technical mark if you wished.

Artistically - well now, you can place it any way you wish. Witt; Cadavy; Trenary; Debi; Manley; Ito; Claudia and Kira - and even put Kondrashova ahead of someone.

How it all jumbles out if all skated cleanly could go in any direction. For example, Trenary could have won that LP if she did 5 triples with the triple flip and her 5.9s for presentation. A case could be made for many outcomes if all skated cleanly.
 

Marco

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14,686
Will this "IF" also assume that Kadavy was fit to skate the free skate? She has made a career of doubling 1 or 2 triples in an otherwise flawless skate - she was the Nikodinov before Nikodinov could do triples. I wonder how a 5 triple skate from Kadavy would be received by the judges. If Witt (1 3loop), Thomas (1 3toe3toe and 1 3loop), Trenary (1 3flip) and Kadavy (2 3loops, one in seq with 2axel) all landed their 5 triples, I think I would give Trenary and Kadavy the highest scores. I never understood what was so strong about Thomas' skating.
 

gkelly

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15,478
I can't speak to those particular skaters, in general or of course as they actually skated in Calgary, since I never saw any of them compete live.

In principle, however, there are often qualities of how a skater moves across the ice between elements that are extremely noticeable live but difficult or impossible to perceive on video.

So in general whenever a skater scores or places better than would seem appropriate based on their jump content, jump success, or "artistry," I assume that they had strong skating qualities that don't come across well on video.
 

essence_of_soy

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Will this "IF" also assume that Kadavy was fit to skate the free skate? She has made a career of doubling 1 or 2 triples in an otherwise flawless skate - she was the Nikodinov before Nikodinov could do triples. I wonder how a 5 triple skate from Kadavy would be received by the judges. If Witt (1 3loop), Thomas (1 3toe3toe and 1 3loop), Trenary (1 3flip) and Kadavy (2 3loops, one in seq with 2axel) all landed their 5 triples, I think I would give Trenary and Kadavy the highest scores. I never understood what was so strong about Thomas' skating.

There is an interview with The Manleywoman Skatecast where Debi said of her free skate, she and her coach had marked a spot for the triple flip in the early section of her routine. Not that it was ever included in major events, but she had landed it in a small competition that season in the short program. So in fact, Debi could have attempted six triple jumps if she needed.
 

essence_of_soy

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5,625
Ito - I appreciate her and no doubt her tech prowess cannot be denied, but there was stiill a need to develop the artistic quality in her overall skating that would happen leading up to Albertville, but it was not quite there in 88. I am fine with the judge's marks: 5.9 for tech and 5.5 -5.7 for artistry

I'll have to dig up his exact phrasing, but Christopher Dean commentated for Australian TV, and was one of Ito's biggest cheerleaders in Calgary. Of her artistic impression, he said it was her blade skill and innate power, and how she used those components to accent the music to personal effect.

Interesting that an artistic titan of the sport should stand by that.
 

olympic

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9,588
Will this "IF" also assume that Kadavy was fit to skate the free skate? She has made a career of doubling 1 or 2 triples in an otherwise flawless skate - she was the Nikodinov before Nikodinov could do triples. I wonder how a 5 triple skate from Kadavy would be received by the judges. If Witt (1 3loop), Thomas (1 3toe3toe and 1 3loop), Trenary (1 3flip) and Kadavy (2 3loops, one in seq with 2axel) all landed their 5 triples, I think I would give Trenary and Kadavy the highest scores. I never understood what was so strong about Thomas' skating.

Yes. My idea for these IF threads is to gauge 'clean' by what that skater was able to do technically THAT year (It is why I asked if Witt had ever landed a 3L in 87-88, because I don't recall that and didn't consider her capable of it, but that's just my non-binding rule). Interesting to know that Thomas landed a clean 3F at a small comp that year, but I didn't consider that either. I kept Manley and Ito where they were because they both could not have skated any cleaner. I understand that posters are introducing wuz robbed for Ito but she was scored based on clean performances in this particular comp, so I did not consider elevating her any higher.

I loved Kadavy, but judging by the SP, it appeared she was getting dumped. That said, if she performed 2 3Ls in combo, 3S and 2 3Ts, and multiple 2As, she would've been hard to deny. She theoretically had the tech and artistry to win an LP but 1) it never happened any other year due to mistakes. Even in 87, she popped a couple of jumps on the way to World's bronze. 2) Politics - She was #3 American even in the USFSA's book. To me, it was obvious they were more into Thomas (who was normally the most consistent of the 3) and Trenary. The ISU IMO based their view of her on what the USFSA presented. JMHO.
 

Louis

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There is an interview with The Manleywoman Skatecast where Debi said of her free skate, she and her coach had marked a spot for the triple flip in the early section of her routine. Not that it was ever included in major events, but she had landed it in a small competition that season in the short program. So in fact, Debi could have attempted six triple jumps if she needed.

The prescribed short program jump that year was a double loop. Are we supposed to believe Debi landed a triple flip-double loop? Debi has always been a bit kooky, so I'm questioning this. I can believe she marked a spot in her program for one, but landing one in the short program seems like a stretch :shuffle:.
 

orbitz

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How different Debi's life might have been if she won. Makes me sad just to think about her loss, and her numerous struggles since.

Even if Debi had the gold medal I think she would still have (1) gone on to medical school (because that was what she really wanted from a young age), (2) unable to work well with her fellow doctors because of her personality, (3) moved to West Virginia to start her own private practice, and (3) met Mr. Looney.
 

gotoschool

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Last time I watched, I thought there was a case for Kadavy to win the short. The Ina into 3Lo2Lo was flawless, and the program was divine.

I think I’d have ranked it:

SP:
1. Kadavy
2. Trenary (if clean - few can do that combo even today)
3. Thomas
4. Witt
5. Ito
6. Manley

Given the quality of Trenary’s combo, I’d bump her existing performance to fourth, behind Witt but ahead of Ito and Manley.

FS:
1. Ito
2. Witt (assuming 3Lo)
3. Thomas
4. Manley
5. Trenary

Ito’s free skate was remarkable, so far ahead of the rest of the competition technically that it was almost laughable. She jumped like she was suspended from the rafters (to paraphrase Toller Cranston) and she had an exuberant joie di vivre that gave me chills. Her content (2A+1Lo+3S; 3T+3T in the second half of the program) would have been competitive for another 30 years. In another time (e.g., Baiul, Lipinski, Hughes), the judges would have had the courage to give this the gold medal it deserved, at least in the free skate. She got the marks she deserved in 1988 in 1989.

I liked Witt better than most. This type of character performance was, for better or worse, a turning point in ladies skating, an important moment in history. If she landed all five triples, I’d have had her ahead of her five triple peers even if she lacked a lutz, flip, or triple-triple.

I agree with you on Katarina Witt in terms of artistry in the LP. After going back to see this competition after a long time, I was really surprised because I have historically been critical but this time around I really enjoyed her engaging expressions, coquettish dancing and the dramatic flair and fluidity of her movements to the music like flinging her head back and the extensions and kicks and her sophisticated arm movements. I liked her dynamic shift in speed as well while making eye contact. But in terms of scoring, I don't see how Midori couldn't be first in the LP with 7 huge triples, the best skating skills and very good spins for the time combined with better artistry than often given credit for. Obviously, she was held back because of being in an earlier group. I am guessing Katarina only had 4 triples with the missed loop and Liz had 5? My third favorite in the LP was Liz Manley. I liked her skating and jumps, but I wasn't really into her somewhat slapstick music, though I thought she expressed it well. I have liked other Debbi Thomas performances but the mistakes in the LP really distracted for me. Based on figures combined if everyone went clean, I would have Katarina first, Midori second if possible, and then I can't decide who for third.
 

essence_of_soy

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The prescribed short program jump that year was a double loop. Are we supposed to believe Debi landed a triple flip-double loop? Debi has always been a bit kooky, so I'm questioning this. I can believe she marked a spot in her program for one, but landing one in the short program seems like a stretch :shuffle:.

I personally worked with Debi for a number of years on several projects. I'd like to believe she was telling the truth in this instance.

It must be hard holding our idols to a higher standard, and when they don't perform to that level, criticize them for their failings.
 
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olympic

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I agree with you on Katarina Witt in terms of artistry in the LP. After going back to see this competition after a long time, I was really surprised because I have historically been critical but this time around I really enjoyed her engaging expressions, coquettish dancing and the dramatic flair and fluidity of her movements to the music like flinging her head back and the extensions and kicks and her sophisticated arm movements. I liked her dynamic shift in speed as well while making eye contact. But in terms of scoring, I don't see how Midori couldn't be first in the LP with 7 huge triples, the best skating skills and very good spins for the time combined with better artistry than often given credit for. Obviously, she was held back because of being in an earlier group. I am guessing Katarina only had 4 triples with the missed loop and Liz had 5? My third favorite in the LP was Liz Manley. I liked her skating and jumps, but I wasn't really into her somewhat slapstick music, though I thought she expressed it well. I have liked other Debbi Thomas performances but the mistakes in the LP really distracted for me. Based on figures combined if everyone went clean, I would have Katarina first, Midori second if possible, and then I can't decide who for third.

Ito was in 10th after the figures which was 30% of the score, and she was behind all of Witt, Manley, Thomas and Trenary going clean in both the SP and LP. There was no way in a scenario where everyone else is clean that she would've been a podium threat.

I just have to disagree on Witt's performance. It was a pro piece with the hard jumps thrown in, and as I have been saying, the judges noticed and it was obvious they left room for Thomas who was skating later. They were happy to put Manley ahead in the LP skating right afterwards. The writing was on the wall, but Thomas failed to step up.
 

Coco

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Um...has anyone scored this competition with IJS?

We could just grade the spins on GOE, with really significant and truly difficult variations counting for +1.
 

gkelly

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It would be fun to try.

All spins and step sequences with base value as level 1 or level B in 2020 rules, i.e., choreo elements?

There would probably be some spins that might be worth a level or two, but others that would get no value by today's rules.

And there aren't always just three spins in the FS, or the right kind of spins.

And it might be unclear whether a skater is really doing a step sequence or choreo sequence that would count today, or just transitions.

So we would probably need a tech panel to make those very basic decisions as to what counts as an element and what doesn't. Along with jump rotations and edges.

SP would be a bit easier because there were very specific required elements and if the skater met the requirements of that year, they should get full base value for the element, with GOE up to the judges.
 

skateboy

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It was her compulsory figures and three (potentially four) types of triples.
On her best day, Debi had the 3toe, salchow, and loop. Which triple would have been her fourth? I never heard any talk of her having a 3flip or 3lutz.
 

Coco

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15,576
It would be fun to try.

All spins and step sequences with base value as level 1 or level B in 2020 rules, i.e., choreo elements?

There would probably be some spins that might be worth a level or two, but others that would get no value by today's rules.

And there aren't always just three spins in the FS, or the right kind of spins.

And it might be unclear whether a skater is really doing a step sequence or choreo sequence that would count today, or just transitions.

So we would probably need a tech panel to make those very basic decisions as to what counts as an element and what doesn't. Along with jump rotations and edges.

SP would be a bit easier because there were very specific required elements and if the skater met the requirements of that year, they should get full base value for the element, with GOE up to the judges.

Yes, SP would be much easier. For one thing, we won't have to deal with variations in the number of jumping passes, "sequences" that would be 2 jumping passes under current rules, etc.

How about...

Technical panel will call jumps, including edges and rotations, and spin types (flying, one foot, X# of positions, etc.)
Spins would be graded on GOE only, but let's give them all L3 so that the scores are someone relatable to scores since 2005.
No base value for steps and spirals simply because those elements look nothing like IJS step/chore sequences. The steps and spirals the skater performed in 1988 can boost or lower the components as warranted under our scoring :)
 

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