Missing Men at the Olympics since 1984

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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He thought he did maximize Being basically only one with quad triple and triple axel. No one else in the entire top 10 really had that. It’s like he needs a double toe but The winner didn’t need a quad? I mean why was the quad so worthless? Quad triple so worthless. And Lysacek also ended his program with a double axel jump.
That's because he did the maximum 8 triples in the seven other jumping passes, with only one 3+3.

Remember, that's just how the system was back then. Van Der Perren was doing 3+3+3 in the early stages of IJS and he was throwing in 3 double Axels to fill in his content, too, before there was a limit instituted.

ETA- actually, I just looked, and the 2003 Skate Canada where Van der Perren went from last to nearly medaling he only completed six jumping passes out of an allowed eight. 3Lz+3T, 3S+3T+3Lo, 3F, 2A, 3Lz, 2A. He had no 3A at the time, and repeated the Lutz and toe. The only other thing he could've done is throw in two more double Axels, to have four in the program (legal back then AFAIK). So really there was no benefit to his 3+3+3 or his 3+3 combo if he wasn't going to use all eight passes. The IJS from 2003-2010 needed a lot of work.
 

caseyedwards

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22,191
And if he had followed his competition closely he would know 2008 and 2009 Worlds were won without quads, against someone with quads. I have no idea why he would feel he didn't need every single point he could get in 2010.

Come to think of it though, if his first few jumps weren't so tilted, he might just have enough GOEs to surpass Lysacek. 2010 was the year when jump GOEs were massive. Lysacek was also lucky his axels weren't dinged.
That's because he did the maximum 8 triples in the seven other jumping passes, with only one 3+3.

Remember, that's just how the system was back then. Van Der Perren was doing 3+3+3 in the early stages of IJS and he was throwing in 3 double Axels to fill in his content, too, before there was a limit instituted.

ETA- actually, I just looked, and the 2003 Skate Canada where Van der Perren went from last to nearly medaling he only completed six jumping passes out of an allowed eight. 3Lz+3T, 3S+3T+3Lo, 3F, 2A, 3Lz, 2A. He had no 3A at the time, and repeated the Lutz and toe. The only other thing he could've done is throw in two more double Axels, to have four in the program (legal back then AFAIK). So really there was no benefit to his 3+3+3 or his 3+3 combo if he wasn't going to use all eight passes. The IJS from 2003-2010 needed a lot of work.
This is important it shows how skaters believed way past point of rationality really that certain things would matter when it was strictly a numbers game! All about addition. Quad triples? 3/3/3 don’t mean anything because the numbers could be gotten from doing easier things!
 

Seerek

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5,786
Robert Wagenhoffer went from 10th in 1981 to 6th at 1982 Worlds. He seems like a candidate for a 3rd spot for the US team going to Sarajevo behind Scott and Brian Boitano

Robert leaving eligible skating at 21 did seem a little premature, but in those days, you take the pro opportunities and run with them while you can (which he did very well).

Interestingly, there was talk in that cycle that Wagenhoffer was potentially among those vying to be the first to land the quadruple toe loop in competition (he never did attempt it).
 

Marco

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15,275
This is important it shows how skaters believed way past point of rationality really that certain things would matter when it was strictly a numbers game! All about addition. Quad triples? 3/3/3 don’t mean anything because the numbers could be gotten from doing easier things!
Yup. His belief was mistaken and if he was a good competitor and cared about winning so much he should have noticed a long time ago and made adjustments accordingly. It's called understanding the rules. Then again, if doing some transitions or better spins or harder footwork was "easier things" I wonder why Plushenko didn't / couldn't do them. If he did these things on top of the quad he would have won.

It could be that the system was flawed and the quad was under-valued; or that spins where over-valued. The system keeps changing. Point is, most other competitors took the time to understand the system and worked hard to maximise their points in their own ways. Plushenko did the quad yes, but he didn't care about so many other things that the advantage he got from the quad was all but lost.

I didn't like Lysacek's skating either but he worked the system better and found a way to win without a quad.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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23,477
I don't think that Max Aaron medals in 2014 Sochi, but as discussed, 3-9 at Sochi was a big mess and anything was going to happed. Max just didn't have that packaging that I think the ISU judges would have looked for in a tight contest among the World's best. But he wouldn't have replaced Jeremy Abbott, who won Nationals but was a mess in Sochi, rather Jason Brown who was the top US finisher, and the US would not have had 3 spots for Sochi because Max and Ross Miner were not going to get near 13 at 2013 Worlds.

I do think it is possible Aaron or old Plushenko get a bronze in Sochi but either one would have had to skate lights out for what either was capable of at the time, even with the very poorly skated event. I think for Aaron it would have been an even harder road than Plushenko, his PCS were never competitive internationally, nor his GOE, he would have had to pump in those quads, and do them all perfectly to make it. Like the time he won Skate America. I was sad he missed the team as I didn't have faith in Abbott at all anymore, and I knew Brown without a quad would find it nearly impossible to medal. I did think he was the US best shot of a top 5 finish, even without the benefit of hindsight.
I don't pretend to dream that Max could have won an individual medal at Sochi - though the event was such a mess. All I know is that I know for certain that if he skated poorly in the team event, he wouldn't have flipped it off with "it's a positive step, it's just a warm up!"

He could have done without the laziest choreography effort Lori Nichol put in in years for an FS, though.
 

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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I don't pretend to dream that Max could have won an individual medal at Sochi - though the event was such a mess. All I know is that I know for certain that if he skated poorly in the team event, he wouldn't have flipped it off with "it's a positive step, it's just a warm up!"
Haven’t we (you included) already gone through this in retrospect and learned more details about his full quote and how the question got brought up in the first place?
 

caseyedwards

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22,191
Yup. His belief was mistaken and if he was a good competitor and cared about winning so much he should have noticed a long time ago and made adjustments accordingly. It's called understanding the rules. Then again, if doing some transitions or better spins or harder footwork was "easier things" I wonder why Plushenko didn't / couldn't do them. If he did these things on top of the quad he would have won.

It could be that the system was flawed and the quad was under-valued; or that spins where over-valued. The system keeps changing. Point is, most other competitors took the time to understand the system and worked hard to maximise their points in their own ways. Plushenko did the quad yes, but he didn't care about so many other things that the advantage he got from the quad was all but lost.

I didn't like Lysacek's skating either but he worked the system better and found a way to win without a quad.
There is no disagreement.

The only issue is would you have changed anything to encourage quads after Vancouver like isu did.

I posted at least one link to a commentator saying regardless of victory without quads in 2008 or 209 any victor in Vancouver will need one.

Even though everyone saw quadlessness winning there was a disbelief that judges would “allow” a victor of quadlessness in Olympics.

I can’t find the USA Today article right now where even Carroll said it
 

screech

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7,425
While not at the same level as many of the others posted here, it does seem like Nam Nguyen should have been to an Olympics:

  • From 2015-2020 was Canadian Champion twice, silver medallist once, bronze medallist twice, and 4th once.
  • Was as high as 5th in the World (in 2015)
  • Going into 2018 Canadians I think it was generally assumed he was the favourite for the second spot. But he finished 3rd, just over one point out of second, and Skate Canada opted to send silver medallist Keegan Messing.

I absolutely believe SC made the right call in sending Keegan in 2018, and Nam definitely did not earn a spot in 2022, but I also definitely think he was the favourite for the second spot going into 2018 Canadians and it was (almost) an upset. I say almost, because Keegan was on the rise, and everyone loves him. I think people thought there would be more discussion about who would be sent (kind of like the 2nd Worlds spot this year), instead of announcing Keegan to the team immediately.
 

olympic

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10,906
While not at the same level as many of the others posted here, it does seem like Nam Nguyen should have been to an Olympics:

  • From 2015-2020 was Canadian Champion twice, silver medallist once, bronze medallist twice, and 4th once.
  • Was as high as 5th in the World (in 2015)
  • Going into 2018 Canadians I think it was generally assumed he was the favourite for the second spot. But he finished 3rd, just over one point out of second, and Skate Canada opted to send silver medallist Keegan Messing.

I absolutely believe SC made the right call in sending Keegan in 2018, and Nam definitely did not earn a spot in 2022, but I also definitely think he was the favourite for the second spot going into 2018 Canadians and it was (almost) an upset. I say almost, because Keegan was on the rise, and everyone loves him. I think people thought there would be more discussion about who would be sent (kind of like the 2nd Worlds spot this year), instead of announcing Keegan to the team immediately.
I think Nam hit his high point in 2015 with that finish at Worlds. I don’t think he was ever a likely a top-10 finisher at an Olympiad though
 

Marco

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15,275
The only issue is would you have changed anything to encourage quads after Vancouver like isu did.

...

Even though everyone saw quadlessness winning there was a disbelief that judges would “allow” a victor of quadlessness in Olympics.
I would have done a lot of things. Add value for quads, yes. But also encourage accurate PCS judging.

As to whether judges would "allow" a victor of quadlessness in Olympics - well, judges are supposed to judge what they see, and the judges alone do not pick who wins. They judge the GOEs for elements (based on the calls given) and PCS - and if elements are called a certain way there may be guidelines on the maximum GOEs to be given. Thinking of judges allowing someone to win is very 6.0 / ordinals judging. I hope you are not expecting judges to favour Plushenko because of the quad and blindly give him unwarranted high GOEs and PCS to ensure his win?!

Anyways, even with the quad, Plushenko's BV for all elements was only 0.1 more than Lysacek's - who won it mostly on GOEs since they tied on PCS.
 

caseyedwards

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22,191
Can’t believe some people still find Vancouver divisive. I don’t care if you had eight quads but had a broken down Biellman spin and not much artistry. Some people tend to forget there’s more than just jumps when trying to achieve a medal
Well then why didn’t Takahasi win? Lol! If you say quads should be meaningless and then it’s a balance of triples and artistry than takahashi was best. Way superior to everyone
I would have done a lot of things. Add value for quads, yes. But also encourage accurate PCS judging.

As to whether judges would "allow" a victor of quadlessness in Olympics - well, judges are supposed to judge what they see, and the judges alone do not pick who wins. They judge the GOEs for elements (based on the calls given) and PCS - and if elements are called a certain way there may be guidelines on the maximum GOEs to be given. Thinking of judges allowing someone to win is very 6.0 / ordinals judging. I hope you are not expecting judges to favour Plushenko because of the quad and blindly give him unwarranted high GOEs and PCS to ensure his win?!

Anyways, even with the quad, Plushenko's BV for all elements was only 0.1 more than Lysacek's - who won it mostly on GOEs since they tied on PCS.
It’s important to note how so many people believed quads would matter because it probably drove buttle out. When you read Lysaecek say “the winner of Vancouver will have a quad - I hope it’s me” or Frank Carroll say “judges won’t go back- judges will pick a winner with a quad” it does prove there was some 6.0 mindset!
 

Marco

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15,275
It’s important to note how so many people believed quads would matter because it probably drove buttle out. When you read Lysaecek say “the winner of Vancouver will have a quad - I hope it’s me” or Frank Carroll say “judges won’t go back- judges will pick a winner with a quad” it does prove there was some 6.0 mindset!
Yes I am sure so many people epsecially Plushenko and Joubert fans believed that quad was all that was needed to win. Doesn't mean they were right. As for Lysacek and Carroll I don't doubt they said something like that, especially when Lysacek himself had a quad back in the days. I don't think anyone felt the quad was worthless, but most probably thought that it was not EVERYTHING - and they would be right under the system.

As I said above, I believe what drove Buttle out was not (just) the quad but more so his own inconsistency.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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35,954
FFS can we please stop with the "Inman told people to score Plushenko low" nonsense. That is not what happened.

Inman wrote an email about what he saw as a misinterpretation of some judging criteria. He was clear that this was HIS OPINION. He didn't threaten anyone with anything if they didn't agree with him, he didn't ask for any results to be reviewed or overturned, and he wasn't sneaking around trying to hack the computer system or manipulate the marks some other way.

Radical and crazy idea here, but maybe Plushenko got low marks on some criteria because he deserved low marks.
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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35,954
Yup. His belief was mistaken and if he was a good competitor and cared about winning so much he should have noticed a long time ago and made adjustments accordingly. It's called understanding the rules. Then again, if doing some transitions or better spins or harder footwork was "easier things" I wonder why Plushenko didn't / couldn't do them. If he did these things on top of the quad he would have won.

It could be that the system was flawed and the quad was under-valued; or that spins where over-valued. The system keeps changing. Point is, most other competitors took the time to understand the system and worked hard to maximise their points in their own ways. Plushenko did the quad yes, but he didn't care about so many other things that the advantage he got from the quad was all but lost.

I didn't like Lysacek's skating either but he worked the system better and found a way to win without a quad.

Lysacek listened to what the judges were saying with the marks they were giving him, and worked to improve the things that he was getting low marks on. There was a marked difference in his skating, and a good difference, between 2017-18 and the Olympics.
I was not a fan of his skating either, for most of his career, but I respect him hugely for putting in that work to improve and becoming a much better skater for it. Instead of coasting on his reputation and expecting that he would be rewarded because of his past successes.
 

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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FFS can we please stop with the "Inman told people to score Plushenko low" nonsense. That is not what happened.

Inman wrote an email about what he saw as a misinterpretation of some judging criteria. He was clear that this was HIS OPINION. He didn't threaten anyone with anything if they didn't agree with him, he didn't ask for any results to be reviewed or overturned, and he wasn't sneaking around trying to hack the computer system or manipulate the marks some other way.

Radical and crazy idea here, but maybe Plushenko got low marks on some criteria because he deserved low marks.
That's not exactly what it was-- I remember writing extensively in my blog about it and then asking one of the judges who was on the panel about it in the article I wrote a few weeks later. At first I thought Inman was asking a question, but then I saw that he had brought up Plushenko's name specifically and that made me flip-flop.

He said that the judges should think about what [they] saw before putting the mark down- his words. He was calling on everyone else to reconsider their PCS scores specifically for Plushenko by citing his quote. Weir wasn't happy, IIRC he called him a stupid American judge and felt that his scores were also potentially going to take a hit because of it.

But it's not as if anyone had to listen to Inman. The judge I interviewed, who was a few weeks removed from actually being on that Vancouver panel (unlike Inman) said it wasn't that uncommon for judges to send emails of that nature.
 
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Marco

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15,275
Lysacek listened to what the judges were saying with the marks they were giving him, and worked to improve the things that he was getting low marks on. There was a marked difference in his skating, and a good difference, between 2017-18 and the Olympics.
I was not a fan of his skating either, for most of his career, but I respect him hugely for putting in that work to improve and becoming a much better skater for it. Instead of coasting on his reputation and expecting that he would be rewarded because of his past successes.
I respect him for what he achieved as a tall man. I am tall as well and could barely balance myself on one foot.
 

caseyedwards

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22,191
FFS can we please stop with the "Inman told people to score Plushenko low" nonsense. That is not what happened.

Inman wrote an email about what he saw as a misinterpretation of some judging criteria. He was clear that this was HIS OPINION. He didn't threaten anyone with anything if they didn't agree with him, he didn't ask for any results to be reviewed or overturned, and he wasn't sneaking around trying to hack the computer system or manipulate the marks some other way.

Radical and crazy idea here, but maybe Plushenko got low marks on some criteria because he deserved low marks.
When Inman put Plushenko 2006 Olympic gold performance in a video on bad judging knowing he would return very soon what do you call that?

The unprecedented 5’s he got in pcs in Vancouver could have been from that Inman video not just Inmans email.

I remember what I posted at the time. Isu rules were very very clear! Transitions were any movement of upper or lower body between technical elements. Inman was trying to get all the judges to say transitions are difficult entries into jumps and only people who do that should get scores above 6
 
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bardtoob

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14,568
When Inman put Plushenko 2006 Olympic gold performance in a video on bad judging knowing he would return very soon what do you call that?
How did Inman know Plushenko would return?

Plushenko only did 3 competitions leading up to the 2010 Olympics, and they were all in the 2009-10 season when he was 27 years old.
 

misskarne

Handy Emergency Backup Mode
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23,477
FFS can we please stop with the "Inman told people to score Plushenko low" nonsense. That is not what happened.

Inman wrote an email about what he saw as a misinterpretation of some judging criteria. He was clear that this was HIS OPINION. He didn't threaten anyone with anything if they didn't agree with him, he didn't ask for any results to be reviewed or overturned, and he wasn't sneaking around trying to hack the computer system or manipulate the marks some other way.

Radical and crazy idea here, but maybe Plushenko got low marks on some criteria because he deserved low marks.
I don't think this would be the reaction if a Russian judge had sent the exact same email about an American skater.

Just saying.
 

caseyedwards

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22,191
How did Inman know Plushenko would return?
Plushenko only did 3 competitions leading up to the 2010 Olympics, and they were all in the 2009-10 season when he was 27 years old.
He was saying it since 2007. He said it all the time. There was never a reason to treat him as retired. He said multiple things like 1. I plan to return but I am too busy at the moment but I am returning and am not retired and will be in Vancouver 2. I am too injured to return right now but I am not retired I will be in Vancouver
 

overedge

Mayor of Carrot City
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35,954
I don't think this would be the reaction if a Russian judge had sent the exact same email about an American skater.

Just saying.

The issue was the alleged overmarking, not the nationality of who was doing it or who was benefiting from it. As I recall, it wasn't just Americans who thought the marking system was not being used appropriately.
 

tony

Throwing the (rule)book at them
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The issue was the alleged overmarking, not the nationality of who was doing it or who was benefiting from it. As I recall, it wasn't just Americans who thought the marking system was not being used appropriately.
I'm not sure what you are getting at. It was not a dissertation on how PCS wasn't being used correctly across the board. It was a call to pay attention to what Plushenko said about himself and how he didn't have transitions.
"It is telling that Mr. Plushenko acknowledges having no transitions in his routine. The judges seem to miss what he is saying. We as judges should think about what we saw before putting that mark down."
Anyways, it was a dumb thing to say by Plushenko, and he even dragged Joubert in with him. But the 2005-2010 IJS era wasn't exactly full of complex routines aside from a very few select skaters, so if Inman was really passionate about the system not being used appropriately, he already had 5 years of experience with it to discuss those problems.

ETA- Inman was the referee for the men at 2009 Worlds, which in itself had plenty of debatable scoring and clumping of all of them top men together on PCS for vastly different qualities of programs.
 
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bardtoob

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He was saying it since 2007. He said it all the time. There was never a reason to treat him as retired. He said multiple things like 1. I plan to return but I am too busy at the moment but I am returning and am not retired and will be in Vancouver 2. I am too injured to return right now but I am not retired I will be in Vancouver

It think it was more important that Plushenko was pissing off the notoriously political Ottavio Cinquanta. Remember him, the ISU President known at FSU as "Speedy" because he was a former speed skater that effectively funneled figure skating money into speed skating in the name of parity.


The international figure skating Grand Prix is in great danger, the president of the International Skating Union, Ottavio Cinquanta, said yesterday.

Speaking at the European championships in Turin, Italy, Cinquanta said the structure of the Grand Prix may have to be changed because some top skaters have skipped events this year and prize money is diminishing.

Stars such as five-time world champion Michelle Kwan and three-time world champion Evgeny Plushenko pulled out of the Skate Canada Grand Prix event this season, but Coburn said that over the years not all of the medalists have shown up for the series.

This year, however, the Grand Prix has been marred by the withdrawal of skaters who wanted to conserve themselves for the Olympics next year and also by an unusually large number of injured athletes.
 
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olympic

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10,906
Back OT -

So, it seems there is some consensus that:

1984 - Robert Wagenhoffer - Final group; around Boitano or maybe better if he continued his trajectory. Brian Pockar - Penultimate group.

1988 - Jozef Sabovcik - Probably Bronze medalist

1992 - Mark Mitchell - If in fantasy world, Eldredge wasn't granted a 'bye', he would've likely finished a little better than 10th. If Wylie was left off the team, Mitchell would not have medalled but Chris Bowman would possibly be an Olympic Bronze Medalist

1994 - Way difficult; Mitchell would have displaced Boitano since Scott Davis was National Champ. Right? That would not have amounted to too much change for the US. Viacheslav Zagorodniuk may have been fighting Philippe Candeloro for a Bronze Medal

1998 - Unlikely to repeat his 1996 feat, but the event was messy and Rudy Galindo would've been one to watch in the final group

2006 - In a fantasy world where JPN had 2 spots, Oda may have been around Lysacek / Weir in that 4th-5th place bubble but as a newbie, he would've not been an Olympic medal threat

2010 - Jeffrey Buttle is unlikely to win and would've had a tough time medalling

2014 - Evgeni Plushenko or Max Kovtun/ Max Aaron would have likely been in that gaggle between 3rd-9th place, but no one was a solid bet for a medal. I am surprised ppl don't think that Plush could've taken Denis Ten for Bronze, though

2018 - Jason Brown likely finishes around where Adam Rippon ended up anyway

2022 - Does Vincent Zhou get near the podium? How about Mikhail Kolyada? This is not really discussed ....
 

bardtoob

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14,568
There does come a time when a skater does retire from competition for one reason or another, and that is acceptable.


Here's to those men who know it is there time to retire from skating but really love it:

 
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olympic

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10,906
There does come a time when a skater does retire from competition for one reason or another, and that is acceptable.

Of course. The purpose of the thread was just to create a 'what if' scenario, which leaves open a lot of room for interpretation.

I try to look at any individual skater's capabilities around the time of their retirement and extrapolate it to the next Olympiad. If there was an injury, I try to look at their skating level just before said injury
 

caseyedwards

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With so much belief skaters skate for Olympics (and indeed most retirements are after Olympics) the ones who retire near the top in the middle of quads stand out!!!! Then you have the “one more year” people. Some real disasters there
 

seabm7

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2,146
I never warmed up to Sandhu so my thoughts about 2002 was more like - what if Sandhu had withdrawn earlier and Buttle was sent instead. He didn't have a 3axel then and wasn't going to be a threat. But he was a delight at 2002 Worlds so I suppose he could well have gotten himself some good experience and exposure at SLC and went on to 2006 with Olympic experience under his belt.

It was the contract between Skate Canada and COC at that time which prevented Skate Canada to declare Buttle as a backup to Sandhu. Even if Sandhu had withdrawn earlier, no one else could have been sent to the 2002 Olympics.
 

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