Missing women at the Olympics since 1984

trainingdogs82

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This thread was inspired by Olympic's amazing thread on missing men at the Olympics since 1984.

1984 women- Vikki De Vries, Denise Biellmann, Kristina Wegelius, Claudia Kristofics Binder, Tracy Wainmann, Debbie Cottril

Appropriate we start with the women as this is where the list is by far the longest.

De Vries looked to be a decent up and comer in 81-83. She won Skate America 81 over Kristofics Binder and Zayak. Came 2nd at 82 Nationals behind Sumners, but above the heavy favorite Zayak. Came a strong 7th at her first worlds in 82. Won Skate Canada over Sumners in fall 82, and had a very good fall 82 season. Was 2nd in both figures and the short program, behind Sumners, but above World Champion Zayak, at Nationals 83. Then had a bad long program and was bumped right off the team in favor of young Tiffany Chin. Which wouldn't surprise me if this gives some indication where the USFSA was leaning at that point, as it would have been easy to hold her up, particularly as she only had to be 4th in the long program to make the team over Chin. Then I guess had some injuries and illness and WD from 84 Nationals where she would have had to bump off either Chin or Zayak (most likely Zayak who skated poorly at Nationals) to make it, had she been able to skate. She always looked like an emerging medal contender, but never ultimately made it to one, not even at the poorly skated 82 worlds. On another note she is the only one whose short program, which had a lot of strange results, from the 82 worlds I never saw. I did see her long at those worlds.

Denise won the 81 worlds, but surprised a lot of people by retiring right after. She was only 18 at the time. Could she have stayed on top with Katarina Witt and the American girls all emerging? She had a triple lutz, strong triples and spins, and high artistic scores by this point. She was never great in figures, and she was not the rock solid, consistent jumper in competition as an amateur she later would be as a pro. It would have been interesting to see if she dominated the quad, or if she was a strong contender for the 84 gold or not had she remained in.

Kristofics Binder won the bronze at both the 81 and 82 worlds. Her specialty was compulsory figures. Her free skating was not that strong, although she was an elegant presence on the ice. She wasn't a very strong jumper. She came close to possibly winning the 82 worlds considering she would have had to only either be 3rd in the long program over Claudia Leistner, or more likely just skated a decent short program (where she came only 9th) to win, but this would not likely have remained for her as the 82 worlds was a weird, crapshoot kind of event, with a bunch of mistakes. I am not sure she would have been a medal contender by 84, but her strong compulsory figures would possibly have shaken some things up there, including possibly creating a bigger wedge between Sumners and Witt.

Wegelius and Cottril are basically the same as Binder. Compulsory figures specialists who were weak and inconsistent free skaters. Although Cottril interestingly had a lot of jumps for the time. She had a triple lutz, triple loop, triple toe, and triple salchow. She wasn't consistent though, and struggled with both quality of elements and presentation scores, compared to other top skaters of the time. She was 4th at the 81 worlds, and had a good shot of a medal at the 82 worlds but bombed her final long program.

Tracy Wainmann was a hot up and comer even even won 81 Skate Canada over a strong field with Ivanova, Sumners, Kristofics Binder, Hill. She did not make the 82 world team and dissapeared after a disaesterous showing at 83 Canadians, until a brief comeback after Sarajevo.

1988 women- Tiffany Chin, Elena Lebedeva

Chin went on a continous decline after the 84 Olympics, although she did win bronze medals at the 85 and 86 worlds. She missed the world team in 87 in favor of the now dominant trio of Thomas, Trenary, Kadavy. She chose to bypass the 88 Nationals rather than try to fight those 3 for a spot on the 88 Olympic team. Trenary and Kadavy weren't great at Nationals, so I guess there is a chance, but she would have had to skate far better than she did in years to ever make it. I think it would be a real long shot, she only managed triple toes and double axels (sometimes) by the time of Nationals 87.

Lebedeva did decently and placed top 10 at the 85, 86, 88 worlds. When Ivanova failed to medal at the 87 worlds, there was no 3rd spot for Calgary, and Ivanova and Kondrashova as expected were the 2 who made it.

1992 women- Jill Trenary, Simone Lang, Holly Cook

Trenary is the most obvious absence. School figures being removed, which was already a gigantic blow to her, coincided with a bad ankle injury. She missed the 91 Nationals and 91 worlds. Struggled badly in her comeback in fall 91, and retired before 92 Nationals. With how the 92 Nationals were skated though a decent outing could have put her on the team over Harding. If she had continued her 1990 worlds level could she have been a contender for the bronze in Albertville with the major mistakes people like Kerrigan and Harding (one of whom is not on the team if Jill is) made? At her best she only had a triple flip, triple toe, and triple salchow so it would be tough even at her best to remain a contender.

Simone Lang, Patrica Neska, Marina Kiellmann were all top 12/top 10 skaters on the world scene, and regular medal contenders at Europeans. There were only 2 spots though and Lang narrowly lost out on one of them. She would never compete at an Olympics. Neske competed in her only Olympics that year.

Holly Cook was the bronze medalist at the 1990 worlds. She also went down the rankings with figures removed. She came 6th at the 91 Nationals where she had a bad final free skate after entering in 4th. She retired before the 92 Nationals.

1994 women- Karen Preston, Marina Kiellmann, Olga Markova, Maria Butyrskaya

Karen Preston- She was a top 10 finisher at each of the 92 Olympics, 92 worlds, and 93 worlds, and the 1989 and 1992 Canadian Champion. Interstingly she was set for a 5th place finish at the 92 worlds, where she was sitting before her teammate Josee Chouinard as the final skater, and after Josee's terrible performance seemed about to finish top 5. Josee got one flukish 6th place ordinal though, which dropped her from 6th to 7th in the long (swapping spots with Szewcenko) and through the ordinal system now dropped her behind Kerrigan and Kiellmann both overall, dropping her from 5th to 8th. That one 6th place ordinal for Josee. She missed the 2nd Olympic team spot in a narrow heartbreak to the then highly touted up and coming Susan Humphries who had the skate of her life on home ice at Nationals 94. Susan would have a disaester in the short program, not even make the cut for the free skate at the Olympics.

Marina Kiellmann- With Witt's comeback, she, Witt, and Szewcenko were in a 3 way fight for 2 spots. Witt beat her out for the 2nd spot by outplacing her at both German Nationals and the 94 Europeans. Kielllman medaled at each Europeans from 90-93, but came only 9th in 94. She would then come 4th at the 94 post Olympic worlds, albeit in a much weaker field. It would be interesting to see how both she and Preston could have figured in the top 10 in Lillehammer.

Olga Markova/Maria Butyrskaya- Both were pretty strong skaters at this point in time and came 3rd and 4th at the 94 Europeans in a strong field. They finished above Tanja Szewcenko who would finish 6th in Lillehammer, and 3rd at the 94 Worlds. Both missed out on the Olympics since Butyrskaya who should have gotten them 2 spots with a top 10 finish at the 93 Worlds, utterly bombed the qualifying round of the 93 worlds, thus losing Russia any spots for Lillehammer. Their presence at the Olympics would have also been interesting, and could have also shaken up the top 10 standings quite a bit.

1998 women- Tonia Kwiatkowski, Julia Soldatova, Tanja Szewcenko

Julia Soldatova- Soldatova actually came 2nd at Nationals 98. The Russian federation said at the time whoever came higher at the Grand Prix final between Irina Slutskaya, who finished a surprising 4th at Nationals, and Elena Sokolova who came 3rd at Nationals, would get the 3rd spot. Despite finishing only 4th and 5th at the Grand Prix final, the Russian federation decided both skated well enough, and decided to bypass Julia, who was that years World Junior Champion. Julia would win the bronze at Worlds the next year, then change citizenship to Belarus after missing the 2000 Russian World team. I suspect she might have figured somewhere in the top 10 in Nagano, although I doubt she would have been a medal threat.

Tonia Kwiatkowski- Tonia would be bumped off the team by Nicole's strong performances at Nationals. She then came 6th at the post Olympic worlds. She was generally a pretty consistent skater, especialy in short program, and would have likely fared better than Nicole's 17th place finish at the Games IMO.

Tanja Szewcenko- Tanja was coming off a strong season with 2 grand prix wins, a Grand Prix final runner up to Tara Lipinski, and a bronze at Euroepans. She was considered a possible contender for the Nagano bronze, but had to withdraw almost last minute with the flu that was going around Nagano.

2002 women- Angela Nikodinov, Elena Sokolova

Angela Nikodinov- Finished 5th at the 2001 worlds, where she came close to possibly winning the bronze medal before a fall late in her program. Was bumped off the US Olympic team by the Kwan, Cohen, Hughes trio. Would be interesting how she could have factored into the top 6 or 7 possibly in Salt Lake City.

Elena Sokolova- Sokolova had lost favor within the Russian federation in favor of Victoria Volchkova. At Nationals she probably had the cleanest performances of Slutskaya, Butyrskaya, Voltchkova, but still was placed 4th. Would be interesting to see how she could have fared in Salt Lake City had she gone in place of Voltchkova, who had a pretty mediocre outing at the Games.

2006 women- Michelle Kwan, Yukari Nakano

I am not including Asada and Kim since they were ineligible with the age rules in place at the time.

Kwan I don't think would have been a likely medalist in 2006, even had she been healthy enough to compete, although with all the mistakes in that competition, who knows.

Nakano I don't think would have been a medal contender, but it would have been interesting to see how she would have shaken up the top 10. She did come 5th at the post Olympic worlds I believe. Miki Ando who controversially went in her place, had a pretty bad showing at the Games.

2010 women- Alissa Czisny, Sasha Cohen, Yukari Nakano, Ashley Wagner

The US lacked a single dominant figure by then but they had many strong skaters vying for only 2 spots. Czisny, the 2009 US Champion, Wagner who had a good fall season in 2010 and came 4th at that years Grand Prix final, and Sasha Cohen attempting a comeback all missed out in favor of Flatt and Nagasu. Yukari Nakano again missed out on the 3 woman Japanese team, this time bumped off by Akiko Suzuki.

2014 women- Elizaveta Tuktamysheva, Anna Pogorilaya, Mirai Nagasu

The 2 biggest absences for the women in 2014 were Russians Tuktamysheva and Pogorilaya, who lost out on the 2 Russian ladies spots to Adelina Sotnikova and Julia Lipnitskaya, both who went on to win a gold medal at the Games. Tuktamysheva had a pretty bad season, and a very poor showing at Nationals, so not sure how she would have fared even if she had made it. Pogorilaya had a far stronger season, including a 4th place finish at the post Olympic worlds which had numerous absentees, and would have been interesting to see how she could have fared at the Games.

Nagasu was bumped off for Wagner in that famous controversy this year. Her international results were not that strong by then anyway, but she might have been able to make top 10 at the Games, although I doubt she finishes as high as Wagner's 7th place.

There aren't a lot of noticebable absentees I can think of for either 2018 or 2022 beyond a slew of Russians in their army land of revolving girls now, so someone else can do those years.
 

tony

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Denise won the 81 worlds, but surprised a lot of people by retiring right after. She was only 18 at the time. Could she have stayed on top with Katarina Witt and the American girls all emerging? She had a triple lutz, strong triples and spins, and high artistic scores by this point. She was never great in figures, and she was not the rock solid, consistent jumper in competition as an amateur she later would be as a pro. It would have been interesting to see if she dominated the quad, or if she was a strong contender for the 84 gold or not had she remained in.
Seeing how Zayak was able to win Worlds on a very similar approach and Witt was also struggling with her compulsories at the beginning of her career, I think Denise very much would've been in the picture for 1984 gold. But I'm happy she turned pro and really developed into such a versatile performer.
1994 women- Karen Preston, Marina Kiellmann, Olga Markova, Maria Butyrskaya

Karen Preston- She was a top 10 finisher at each of the 92 Olympics, 92 worlds, and 93 worlds, and the 1989 and 1992 Canadian Champion. Interstingly she was set for a 5th place finish at the 92 worlds, where she was sitting before her teammate Josee Chouinard as the final skater, and after Josee's terrible performance seemed about to finish top 5. Josee got one flukish 6th place ordinal though, which dropped her from 6th to 7th in the long (swapping spots with Szewcenko) and through the ordinal system now dropped her behind Kerrigan and Kiellmann both overall, dropping her from 5th to 8th. That one 6th place ordinal for Josee. She missed the 2nd Olympic team spot in a narrow heartbreak to the then highly touted up and coming Susan Humphries who had the skate of her life on home ice at Nationals 94. Susan would have a disaester in the short program, not even make the cut for the free skate at the Olympics.
Yeah, the complete opposite reactions from Preston and Humphries at Nationals was really something, and Canadian TV really milked that.
Marina Kiellmann- With Witt's comeback, she, Witt, and Szewcenko were in a 3 way fight for 2 spots. Witt beat her out for the 2nd spot by outplacing her at both German Nationals and the 94 Europeans. Kielllman medaled at each Europeans from 90-93, but came only 9th in 94. She would then come 4th at the 94 post Olympic worlds, albeit in a much weaker field. It would be interesting to see how both she and Preston could have figured in the top 10 in Lillehammer.
Kielmann would've likely been right around where Witt finished, or maybe behind Harding.
Olga Markova/Maria Butyrskaya- Both were pretty strong skaters at this point in time and came 3rd and 4th at the 94 Europeans in a strong field. They finished above Tanja Szewcenko who would finish 6th in Lillehammer, and 3rd at the 94 Worlds. Both missed out on the Olympics since Butyrskaya who should have gotten them 2 spots with a top 10 finish at the 93 Worlds, utterly bombed the qualifying round of the 93 worlds, thus losing Russia any spots for Lillehammer. Their presence at the Olympics would have also been interesting, and could have also shaken up the top 10 standings quite a bit.
There are arguments that have been made saying Butyrskaya maybe was even best at 1994 Euros or at least in the LP, so as wildly unpredictable as she was, she certainly had the means to shake things up back then. As it was, Markova still finished on top of her there and likely would've been the skater in Norway.
1998 women- Tonia Kwiatkowski, Julia Soldatova, Tanja Szewcenko

Julia Soldatova- Soldatova actually came 2nd at Nationals 98. The Russian federation said at the time whoever came higher at the Grand Prix final between Irina Slutskaya, who finished a surprising 4th at Nationals, and Elena Sokolova who came 3rd at Nationals, would get the 3rd spot. Despite finishing only 4th and 5th at the Grand Prix final, the Russian federation decided both skated well enough, and decided to bypass Julia, who was that years World Junior Champion. Julia would win the bronze at Worlds the next year, then change citizenship to Belarus after missing the 2000 Russian World team. I suspect she might have figured somewhere in the top 10 in Nagano, although I doubt she would have been a medal threat.
I don't think this is completely correct. I was very, very young back then but I seem to recall Soldatova lost her Olympics spot in part because of her placement at Europeans, and the Champions Series Final was held before Euros. Slutskaya was really bad at that Nationals, though, IIRC, and even Volchkova was on the podium ahead of her. Sololova was 5th.
Tanja Szewcenko- Tanja was coming off a strong season with 2 grand prix wins, a Grand Prix final runner up to Tara Lipinski, and a bronze at Euroepans. She was considered a possible contender for the Nagano bronze, but had to withdraw almost last minute with the flu that was going around Nagano.
She probably was the main favorite for bronze, but the articles back then listed a plethora of contenders.
Elena Sokolova- Sokolova had lost favor within the Russian federation in favor of Victoria Volchkova. At Nationals she probably had the cleanest performances of Slutskaya, Butyrskaya, Voltchkova, but still was placed 4th. Would be interesting to see how she could have fared in Salt Lake City had she gone in place of Voltchkova, who had a pretty mediocre outing at the Games.
Butyrskaya skated really well at that Nationals, certainly better than Sokolova. But it's true that Volchkova had the Federation backing at the time- having gone to all three Worlds prior to SLC. Viktoria got by on her big Lutz but there is a case to be made for Sokolova to be sent in 2002.
 
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olympic

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I did start a thread back in 2020 regarding this subject, if you want to ply it for info -

 

viennese

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Most of the late 1970s and early 1980s missing men and women retired for two reasons: injury or lack of financial resources - either from their national federations or their families.

By the mid 1980s the IOC loosened its strict rules about the line between amateur and pro athletes. Olympic-eligible athletes could sign commercial sponsorship deals as long as the earnings went into an approved trust fund. That allowed skaters of the 80s and beyond, until the rules were further changed, to train longer without bankrupting their families' finances.

I wish Biellmann had been able to stay in until 1984.
 

Holy Headband

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I know this isn't contributing anything to the thread and I apologise for that, but it took me a paragraph to realise this thread is not about spooky cases of women who went missing during the Olympics and were never found.
 

bardtoob

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Most of the late 1970s and early 1980s missing men and women retired for two reasons: injury or lack of financial resources - either from their national federations or their families.

For fun, here is what the bible of figure skating, Ice Castles (1978), says about such things
:D


 

caseyedwards

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I did start a thread back in 2020 regarding this subject, if you want to ply it for info -

My first comment here was almost on Sasha Cohen too!!! But then I realized Elizaveta tuktamisheva is far more important but I totally still believe Cohen needed more time if that was ever possible.
 

overedge

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Titling this thread "missing" makes it sound like these women should have kept going no matter what, or that they had some obligation to keep competing.

Holly Cook, for one, retired because she didn't feel the desire to stay on.
 

bardtoob

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Titling this thread "missing" makes it sound like these women should have kept going no matter what, or that they had some obligation to keep competing.

Holly Cook, for one, retired because she didn't feel the desire to stay on.

It would be nice if there was a similar post in the other thread.
 

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