Missing ladies at the Olympics since 1984

Maximillian

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Yeah, I suspect that had Kristi skated through to 1994, the whack would not have happened because I think Tonya wouldn't have expected to beat Kristi not only because she was so consistent, but also because the only times she did beat Kristi was when she landed her 3A. Whereas with Nancy throughout most of the '89-92 quad Tonya was higher in the pecking order than Nancy and it was only at '92 Nationals where Nancy pulled ahead and, as was stated above, Nancy really benefited from other's mistakes throughout that season. Nancy was horribly inconsistent, and I for one never expected to pull out the LP she did in Lillhammer, and I also think that this is in part why she didn't win, as there was no precedent for her putting out a performance like that. Things like that are in the judges heads.
 

Marco

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Yeah, I suspect that had Kristi skated through to 1994, the whack would not have happened because I think Tonya wouldn't have expected to beat Kristi not only because she was so consistent, but also because the only times she did beat Kristi was when she landed her 3A. Whereas with Nancy throughout most of the '89-92 quad Tonya was higher in the pecking order than Nancy and it was only at '92 Nationals where Nancy pulled ahead and, as was stated above, Nancy really benefited from other's mistakes throughout that season. Nancy was horribly inconsistent, and I for one never expected to pull out the LP she did in Lillhammer, and I also think that this is in part why she didn't win, as there was no precedent for her putting out a performance like that. Things like that are in the judges heads.

Nancy skated a similarly strong performance at 1993 Piruetten (a few months before Lillehammer), got the flip but popped the loop. Got the 3toe3toe, 3sal and 3lutz like in Lillehammer.

 

olympic

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Bumping this thread

I want to go further back on time -

Karen Magnusson and Janet Lynn in 1976. They finished ahead of Errath and Hamill in 1973 and understood the SP. Would they have been contenders considering that triples were still not required to be top dog? I don’t think Karen would have had a problem making the Canadian team, would she have?

Petra Burka for 1968. She was 65 World Champ and won bronze in 66. Did she leave the sport? Would she have been a threat for the podium against someone like Hana Maskova?

ETA - How could I forget Gaby Seyfert for 1972? She was world champ in 69 and 70 after Peggy retired. She had no problem beating Trixi Schuba. Was she better in figures? At any rate she was an athletic skater with a show quality to her performances that would probably put her on top in Sapporo in 1972. I wonder why she did not stick around?
 
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Vagabond

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When you go back before 1984, you enter an era where prolonged amateur careers were not feasible for most figure skaters from outside the Soviet bloc. Lynn and Magnussen each competed in both Grenoble and Sapporo, earned Olympic medals in 1972, and had World medals as well. There was no financial incentive for them to continue as amateurs all the way to 1976.

Conversely, East German skaters, including Seyfert, were never allowed to join western professional companies. Seyfert's Wikipedia page says that Holiday on Ice did offer to hire her. She was possibly the best East German woman at Compulsories and one of the best of her era. I don't know whether she was given the choice between continuing as an amateur or going into coaching, but either way, it must have been infuriating when her mother poached her star student. :drama:
 

olympic

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When you go back before 1984, you enter an era where prolonged amateur careers were not feasible for most figure skaters from outside the Soviet bloc. Lynn and Magnussen each competed in both Grenoble and Sapporo, earned Olympic medals in 1972, and had World medals as well. There was no financial incentive for them to continue as amateurs all the way to 1976.

Conversely, East German skaters, including Seyfert, were never allowed to join western professional companies. Seyfert's Wikipedia page says that Holiday on Ice did offer to hire her. She was possibly the best East German woman at Compulsories and one of the best of her era. I don't know whether she was given the choice between continuing as an amateur or going into coaching, but either way, it must have been infuriating when her mother poached her star student. :drama:

Yes. It is make believe, but I was just curious as to how their presence would have impacted those competitions.


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I think Seyfert would've cleaned up in Sapporo 1972 and won an OGM. I think Burka had at best a 50-50 shot at the OBM in Grenoble. Maskova was a great skater. I have no idea what Magnusson and Lynn could've accomplished in 1976 but I just found it interesting that their strong SS combined with the fact that triples were not necessary for a good 1st mark meant that they theoretically could've mattered in that competition. I chose them because they competed past 1972.
 

Maximillian

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I think Seyfert would've cleaned up in Sapporo 1972 and won an OGM. I think Burka had at best a 50-50 shot at the OBM in Grenoble. Maskova was a great skater. I have no idea what Magnusson and Lynn could've accomplished in 1976 but I just found it interesting that their strong SS combined with the fact that triples were not necessary for a good 1st mark meant that they theoretically could've mattered in that competition. I chose them because they competed past 1972.

I'm pretty sure Seyfert would have won in Sapporo as well, but it might have been a squeaker, Schuba would have had two seasons to move past her in the figures--which I think she would have--fortunately for Seyfert Schuba's freeskating skills seemed to have diminished as the years passed and not improved.

With regards to Innsbruck, I suspect that Dorothy would have surpassed Janet at some point between '74-'76, because I feel like TPTB might have given up on Janet after she bombed the SP at '73 Worlds. Magnussen's a more interesting case, since she wasn't going to be surpassed by Nightingale domestically. I could see her winning in Innsbruck.
 

floskate

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Gaby's retirement - for so long a source of much rumour - was finally discussed in Frau Muller's 90th birthday documentary, Die Eiskonigin aus Chemnitz (if you haven't watched it yet, you really should it is AMAZING!!!! Here it is with English subs - https://youtu.be/EhIUrkeMpNk )

But for me she would have been a clear winner in Sapporo IF (and that is a big if) she was still able to stay close enough to Schuba after the figures to overhaul her. Gaby also was prone to some inconsistency in figures like the 1968 Europeans where even her triple loop attempt wasn't enough to catch Maskova after figures. In 1971 Janet was crowned as the best lady free skater in the world by the judges without any doubt, taking over the mantle from Gaby. But what if Gaby had stayed in? Would the judges still have swung their favour over to Janet if Gaby was still skating and therefore the Eastern bloc pressure came in to play.

Scenario - take Gaby's best ever free skate - 1969 Europeans - and imagine she skated as well as this but in 1971 and with her haircut and makeover from 1970 against Janet's winning freeskate. Who wins? Gaby going into 72 trailing Schuba in figures and Janet in free skating would not have been the force she was would she? Or....would Janet's ascendency have been quashed by the Eastern European bloc judging of the day to protect Gaby's position heading into Sapporo?
 

olympic

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Gaby's retirement - for so long a source of much rumour - was finally discussed in Frau Muller's 90th birthday documentary, Die Eiskonigin aus Chemnitz (if you haven't watched it yet, you really should it is AMAZING!!!! Here it is with English subs - https://youtu.be/EhIUrkeMpNk )

But for me she would have been a clear winner in Sapporo IF (and that is a big if) she was still able to stay close enough to Schuba after the figures to overhaul her. Gaby also was prone to some inconsistency in figures like the 1968 Europeans where even her triple loop attempt wasn't enough to catch Maskova after figures. In 1971 Janet was crowned as the best lady free skater in the world by the judges without any doubt, taking over the mantle from Gaby. But what if Gaby had stayed in? Would the judges still have swung their favour over to Janet if Gaby was still skating and therefore the Eastern bloc pressure came in to play.

Scenario - take Gaby's best ever free skate - 1969 Europeans - and imagine she skated as well as this but in 1971 and with her haircut and makeover from 1970 against Janet's winning freeskate. Who wins? Gaby going into 72 trailing Schuba in figures and Janet in free skating would not have been the force she was would she? Or....would Janet's ascendency have been quashed by the Eastern European bloc judging of the day to protect Gaby's position heading into Sapporo?

Was Trixi beating Gaby in the figures in 1970? Or was it a situation where Gaby caught Trixi in the free skate? Just curious.

The affect on US ladies by Gaby’s continuation would have been interesting. As it was, Julie Holmes beat Janet internationally but Janet always won Nationals, so there seemed to be a lack of unity by the US for its own ladies. Which leads me to ask what happened to Holmes in 1972? She was WSM in 71 and capable of beating Magnusson but fell back in the end pretty badly. Wasn’t she a Fassi pupil?
 

Vagabond

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Was Trixi beating Gaby in the figures in 1970? Or was it a situation where Gaby caught Trixi in the free skate? Just curious.

Pointswise, Schuba was so far ahead of Seyfert after the Compulsories that there was no catching her.

By 1972, Schuba was widely reputed to be the best Compulsory skater ever, man or woman. Catching up to her in the Compulsories would have been rather like catching up to Patrick Chan in Skating Skills in his prime, except that the COP as it was applied to Chan was less favorable to Chan than 6.0 was as it was applied to Schuba.
 

VGThuy

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Was Trixi beating Gaby in the figures in 1970? Or was it a situation where Gaby caught Trixi in the free skate? Just curious.

The affect on US ladies by Gaby’s continuation would have been interesting. As it was, Julie Holmes beat Janet internationally but Janet always won Nationals, so there seemed to be a lack of unity by the US for its own ladies. Which leads me to ask what happened to Holmes in 1972? She was WSM in 71 and capable of beating Magnusson but fell back in the end pretty badly. Wasn’t she a Fassi pupil?

Just from Wiki, it sounded like Holmes was poised to win a silver at the Olympics but had an unusually disastrous skate in the free where she placed 8th (behind Schuba) even though she usually could skate well enough to place 5th there. She ended up 4th overall. As to why she had that skate or if she was skating poorly by the time Sapporo hit, I don’t know.

I don’t get how the points system worked back then. I wondered if Lynn didn’t fall on that flying spin, if she would have placed high enough to win silver. There was like a ten point difference between silver and bronze in overall points which seems small compared to the other gaps I’ve seen in that result table. But that fall and skating in Japan was fortuitous for Lynn as she became super popular there and influenced the Japanese skaters at the time some of whom became coaches and thus influenced future generations. I remember a documentary on Fumie Suguri who cried when she met Janet Lynn.

Funny how both Janet and Julie had “Lynn” as their middle names with Janet using it as her stage name.
 

essence_of_soy

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I'm pretty sure Seyfert would have won in Sapporo as well, but it might have been a squeaker, Schuba would have had two seasons to move past her in the figures--which I think she would have--fortunately for Seyfert Schuba's freeskating skills seemed to have diminished as the years passed and not improved.

With regards to Innsbruck, I suspect that Dorothy would have surpassed Janet at some point between '74-'76, because I feel like TPTB might have given up on Janet after she bombed the SP at '73 Worlds. Magnussen's a more interesting case, since she wasn't going to be surpassed by Nightingale domestically. I could see her winning in Innsbruck.

Interestingly at the 1973 Canadian Championships, in her first year of senior competition, Lynn Nightingale took advantage of a poor skate from Magnussen in the short program, and won that portion of the event.

Nightingale, I believe, also had a competitive triple salchow.

 

olympic

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Just from Wiki, it sounded like Holmes was poised to win a silver at the Olympics but had an unusually disastrous skate in the free where she placed 8th (behind Schuba) even though she usually could skate well enough to place 5th there. She ended up 4th overall. As to why she had that skate or if she was skating poorly by the time Sapporo hit, I don’t know.

I don’t get how the points system worked back then. I wondered if Lynn didn’t fall on that flying spin, if she would have placed high enough to win silver. There was like a ten point difference between silver and bronze in overall points which seems small compared to the other gaps I’ve seen in that result table. But that fall and skating in Japan was fortuitous for Lynn as she became super popular there and influenced the Japanese skaters at the time some of whom became coaches and thus influenced future generations. I remember a documentary on Fumie Suguri who cried when she met Janet Lynn.

Funny how both Janet and Julie had “Lynn” as their middle names with Janet using it as her stage name.

She skipped 1972 Worlds and disappeared from competition after that. A young Dorothy Hamill finished 7th, finishing ahead of Suna Murray who actually made the Olympic team ahead of Dorothy
 

floskate

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She skipped 1972 Worlds and disappeared from competition after that. A young Dorothy Hamill finished 7th, finishing ahead of Suna Murray who actually made the Olympic team ahead of Dorothy

According to Dorothy in her book, Holmes figured after Sapporo that she wouldn't win a medal at Worlds either and signed a pro contract instead. Carlo had already told Dorothy's Mother to keep her training so he must have known this was on the cards. Dorothy skated brilliantly in Calgary at the 1972 Worlds and I always wondered why she didn't make the Olympic team. Again, Dorothy tells the story - she had a bad flu and lost a lot of weight before the US Nationals in Long Beach but still skated well. However one judge placed her 13th (I'm assuming in free skating) because they didn't like her footwork, and another apparently approached Dorothy's Mother after the event and said 'Oh I wish I had known that Dorothy was ill', implying that they would have placed her higher if they had known. No disrespect to Suna Murray but Dorothy had already competed in Sapporo at the pre-Olympic event and was known to the Japanese and I would have sent her no question. Dorothy had a great double axel; Suna did not. But those were the days when Nationals placements were everything so fourth place = no Olympics.
 

bardtoob

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@floskate I am hoping Dorothy's 1972 Nationals freeskate will surface. At least Howard Cracker must have filmed it.
 

floskate

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@floskate I am hoping Dorothy's 1972 Nationals freeskate will surface. At least Howard Cracker must have filmed it.

Me too but I'm not sure it was filmed. I have what I presume was the official USFS film of the event compiled (I assume) by Howard Craker. It has the top two or three for each discipline as well as the junior winners. Dorothy finishing fourth is not included. I would hope that Craker filmed ALL the skaters but the cost of such a venture back then must have been huge. All that film and with sound as well. But if it exists it will be in the vaults of the World Skating Museum, never to see the light of day again.
 

essence_of_soy

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At least we will always have this fclassic ootage of Suna Murray. ;)

One of the best skating bloopers ever.

A friend introduced me to Murray at the 2009 US Championships in Cleveland.
That clip was all I could think of when I met her. To Suna's credit, she laughed it off when I eventually caved and mentioned it, saying, practically everyone new she meets reminds her of that MSG gaffe.
 

olympic

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According to Dorothy in her book, Holmes figured after Sapporo that she wouldn't win a medal at Worlds either and signed a pro contract instead. Carlo had already told Dorothy's Mother to keep her training so he must have known this was on the cards. Dorothy skated brilliantly in Calgary at the 1972 Worlds and I always wondered why she didn't make the Olympic team. Again, Dorothy tells the story - she had a bad flu and lost a lot of weight before the US Nationals in Long Beach but still skated well. However one judge placed her 13th (I'm assuming in free skating) because they didn't like her footwork, and another apparently approached Dorothy's Mother after the event and said 'Oh I wish I had known that Dorothy was ill', implying that they would have placed her higher if they had known. No disrespect to Suna Murray but Dorothy had already competed in Sapporo at the pre-Olympic event and was known to the Japanese and I would have sent her no question. Dorothy had a great double axel; Suna did not. But those were the days when Nationals placements were everything so fourth place = no Olympics.

Thank you! You really should take the title 'Skating Historian, Ph.D.' :)

I didn't know that Holmes and Hamill were coached at the same time by Fassi. I thought she was w/ Sonya Klopfer around the time; on the road to Sapporo 1972. Thanks.

It also seems to me that Dorothy should've gone to the Olympics, and if she was healthy, no doubt she would've beaten Suna Murray for that spot on the judge's cards.
 

floskate

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Thank you! You really should take the title 'Skating Historian, Ph.D.' :)

I didn't know that Holmes and Hamill were coached at the same time by Fassi. I thought she was w/ Sonya Klopfer around the time; on the road to Sapporo 1972. Thanks.

It also seems to me that Dorothy should've gone to the Olympics, and if she was healthy, no doubt she would've beaten Suna Murray for that spot on the judge's cards.

She switched to Carlo after the Sapporo pre-Olympic event in 1971. I do wonder if there was perhaps some resistance to too much 'Fassi' on the team? I've heard similar stories about US gymnastics teams for sure when it was felt that one coach was holding too much sway....
 

essence_of_soy

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I love in 1980, that at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, Team Fassi included:

Robin Cousins (GBR)

Emi Watanabe (JPN)
Claudia Kristofics Binder (AUT)
Suzanna Driano (ITA)
Kristina Wegelius (FIN)
Karena Richardson (GBR)


Other skaters at the event whom at one point had trained with Carlo and Christa were

Scott Hamilton (USA)
Susan Broman (FIN)
Heather Kemkaren (CAN)

It is believed that Carlo offered to train Linda Fratianne, but her alliance to Frank Carroll was paramount.
 
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VGThuy

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Wow. No wonder Frank Carroll thought there was some conspiracy (on top of what he said he witnessed with the judges speaking German). It seemed like Team Muller with a top lady and a top man had something to prove with wanting to finally get that gold and Fassi not having a top lady but having a top man to make a trade.
 

bardtoob

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Wow. No wonder Frank Carroll thought there was some conspiracy (on top of what he said he witnessed with the judges speaking German). It seemed like Team Muller with a top lady and a top man had something to prove with wanting to finally get that gold and Fassi not having a top lady but having a top man to make a trade.

I must say, I do believe the "trade" component was not Frank's idea. I believe its first known appearance was here on FSU. As far as I know, the first time Frank heard of the trade theory was during his TLS interview, when Jenny, one of his former pupils, read it to him after printing it from FSU.
 

Maximillian

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I must say, I do believe the "trade" component was not Frank's idea. I believe its first known appearance was here on FSU. As far as I know, the first time Frank heard of the trade theory was during his TLS interview, when Jenny, one of his former pupils, read it to him after printing it from FSU.
Didn't the German speaking judge theory come out in one of Brennan's books or some other similar gossipy ilk?
 

floskate

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I believe both Bev Smith and Debbi Wilkes detailed similar conspiracies in their respective books on the skating wheeling and dealing, too.

When the computer showed that Anett was ahead of Linda overall during the performance of Lisa Marie Allen, Johnny Esaw and Debbi Wilkes had a conversation about it live on air on CTV. They were both stunned and it was difficult for them to focus on commentating on Lisa. 40 years on and it's still a talking point. That has to say something!
 

VGThuy

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I can only comment on the free skates since I have no idea how they actually skated with the compulsories and it's not like I know what to look for either. I will say, it seemed that for some of the judges, Robin Cousins must have had a two triple and a mistake cushion over Jan Hoffmann, kind of like Patrick Chan during his hey days. He was like an ice dancer who could jump. I will say Jan Hoffmann's jumps were a thing of beauty and really an art to themselves. It wasn't until I watched that Jutta Muller documentary that I realized he competed at four Olympics starting at the age of 12 in 1968! He was such a cute little kid with his glasses talking about how he loved to read in his Olympic dorm room. I think I have a soft spot for him because he ranked Kwan first in Nagano while Cousins openly said he preferred Lipinski during the practices.

Between Potzsch and Fratianne. I hate to say it, but I don't really care after watching their free skates. Fratianne out jumped Potzsch, but not by much just from what I remembered. What I do remember was how unclean Fratianne's lines were. She'd been at the game for while by 1980 and still looked super unfinished with really bad leg line throughtout. There also wasn't much spread in her spread eagle either. Potzsch was boring and suffered from choppy Muller choreography but she seemed much cleaner throughout her routine with regard to her movement and even flow. I rather watch Dorothy Hamill do doubles and forward crossovers with that speed and perfect posture/carriage over these two...even with her obnoxious generic movie soundtrack music blasting in the arena.
 
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floskate

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I can only comment on the free skates since I have no idea how they actually skated with the compulsories and it's not like I know what to look for either. I will say, it seemed that for some of the judges, Robin Cousins must have had a two triple and a mistake cushion over Jan Hoffman, kind of like Patrick Chan during his hey days. He was like an ice dancer who could jump. I will say Jan Hoffman's jumps were a thing of beauty and really an art to themselves. It wasn't until I watched that Jutta Muller documentary that I realized he competed at four Olympics starting at the age of 12 in 1968! He was such a cute little kid with his glasses talking about how he loved to read in his Olympic dorm room. I think I have a soft spot for him because he ranked Kwan first in Nagano while Cousins openly said he preferred Lipinski during the practices.

Between Potzsch and Fratianne. I hate to say it, but I don't really care after watching their free skates. Fratianne out jumped Potzsch, but not by much just from what I remembered. What I do remember was how unclean Fratianne's lines were. She'd been at the game for while by 1980 and still looked super unfinished with really bad leg line throughtout. There also wasn't much spread in her spread eagle either. Potzsch was boring and suffered from choppy Muller choreography but she seemed much cleaner throughout her routine with regard to her movement and even flow. I rather watch Dorothy Hamill do doubles and forward crossovers with that speed and perfect posture/carriage over these two...even with her obnoxious generic movie soundtrack music blasting in the arena.

I love Jan too and he gets a lot of flack on my youtube channel from people who don't appreciate him. It was his misfortune to skate in an era that not only gave us Robin Cousins, but John Curry and Toller Cranston. Sure he wasn't graceful, but I've always maintained that Jan was the most complete skater of the late 70's across all three phases of the competition. Great figures, almost always reliable in the short and potentially 5 triples (lutz, loop, sal, toe, toe) in the long. People forget that had the factored placements system (brought in for the 1981 season to try and combat the blatant manipulation of total points in the 70's) been used in Lake Placid, it is Jan and not Robin who would have won.

Fratianne.......her skating just stagnated after 1977.
 
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olympic

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Fratianne won in 1979 with less as it were because Poetzsch was really sloppy and mediocre in the LP. Fratianne was better all around in 1980 but lost because Poetzsch also was better.

That said the 2 issues for me were the figures and SP, not the LP. There were complaints that Fratianne was held down below Dagmar Lurz but the complaint was from Linda’s mom so who knows. The big one for me was Poetzsch’s placement in the SP and quite honestly Linda’s marks could have been higher. She was spot on and I would have thrown more 5.9s her way (not 6.0)
 

olympic

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I can only comment on the free skates since I have no idea how they actually skated with the compulsories and it's not like I know what to look for either. I will say, it seemed that for some of the judges, Robin Cousins must have had a two triple and a mistake cushion over Jan Hoffmann, kind of like Patrick Chan during his hey days. He was like an ice dancer who could jump. I will say Jan Hoffmann's jumps were a thing of beauty and really an art to themselves. It wasn't until I watched that Jutta Muller documentary that I realized he competed at four Olympics starting at the age of 12 in 1968! He was such a cute little kid with his glasses talking about how he loved to read in his Olympic dorm room. I think I have a soft spot for him because he ranked Kwan first in Nagano while Cousins openly said he preferred Lipinski during the practices.

Between Potzsch and Fratianne. I hate to say it, but I don't really care after watching their free skates. Fratianne out jumped Potzsch, but not by much just from what I remembered. What I do remember was how unclean Fratianne's lines were. She'd been at the game for while by 1980 and still looked super unfinished with really bad leg line throughtout. There also wasn't much spread in her spread eagle either. Potzsch was boring and suffered from choppy Muller choreography but she seemed much cleaner throughout her routine with regard to her movement and even flow. I rather watch Dorothy Hamill do doubles and forward crossovers with that speed and perfect posture/carriage over these two...even with her obnoxious generic movie soundtrack music blasting in the arena.

Jan screwed poor Nancy over in 1994 though :p
 

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