Unlucky skaters

Colonel Green

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I don't think not being good at one of the competition segments is really "unlucky", per se, even if that segment is one that few people actually liked and was subsequently discarded. Same with, e.g., Brian Orser; it's easy to see why lots of people were annoyed at his not winning gold in Sarajevo despite him winning both segments of the competition that people actually watch, but figures weren't some surprise that was sprung on everybody.

Weaver & Poje are a team I would say suffered from some bad luck in the sense of things beyond their control, and not to do with injuries (a common for of bad fortune). The biggest thing beyond there control, of course, was that they laboured in the shadow of Virtue & Moir for almost their entire career, and V/M's return as well as the shifting currents in ice dance in the 2015-16 period seemed to cut the legs out from under them after the period from 2014 Worlds to the 2015/16 Grand Prix Final seemed to suggest they had made their way into the top tier of ice dance.
 

Jeschke

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I thought about mentioning Dytrt; being denied first Olympics, dubious nomination criteria scenario for second olympics and not making it either. A switch to pairs in between, which ended without her ever being seen in a pairs event because of the ISU ban warning.

That said, for a b/c-tier skater, she has a very good pro career and seems to make good living out of it.
So whilst luck may not have been her friend in competitive years, it seems to be running steady with her now đź’Ş
 

overedge

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Kurt Browning won four world championships, and is the only skater to win worlds with and without the figures competition. That's a record that will never be matched unless figures are put back into competition (we can only hope). He was not unlucky at all.
 

Marco

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I mean Tonya had "complex" programs?

She showed some big and long field moves like deep pivots and ina bauers (into 3flips), interesting entrances into spirals (ugly but still), and some footwork with unusual kicks and hops. More so than others in that era, she switched directions in an unusual way. Not the most tasteful programs, and often not the best stretch, but the programs did have meat in them, not unlike the relatively safe choreography for Yamaguchi, Trenary and Kerrigan.

Marchei can hardly be blamed for the loss of the second spot in 2009 given that she missed most of the season due to injury. Considering Marchei's placements in the preceding two seasons, it's certainly possible that if both had skated they would have combined for 28 or less.

Italy went down to 1 spot in 2009 because Kostner was the sole competitor for Italy and she bombed the free and finished outside top ten. You rightly pointed out that Marchei was the only person who could have help salvaged 28 placement points, but she didn't because she didn't skate there, due to injury. She had to rely on Kostner. That's why I said she didn't earn it on her own. Per country rules suck.

re: Mark Mitchell
Probably a skater who would have done better under IJS, where PCS could outweigh lower jump content. At least at times when the scale of values allowed that and the judges were not pegging the PCS to the jumps.

His BV was simply too low, no? He didn't repeat the harder triples and didn't attempt 3/3s. I am also guessing his top National competitors Bowman, Wylie and Eldredge (to a lesser extent) were also likely to garner high PCS.

re: Alexei Urmanov
My sense was that judges were willing to reward him when he skated well, but he wasn't able to rise to the occasion at 94, 95, or 96 Worlds.

But he would deliver at least once a season - 94 at the Olympics, 95 at Euros, 96 at GPF etc. and he would receive good scores for those performances. Just never at Worlds - until 97. We wouldn't know how it would turn out but with him withdrawing in 97, he lost his biggest chance to definitively prove that he wasn't a fluke / that he indeed was of Olympic champion calibre.

Yukari Nakano - she missed out on the Olympics twice in controversial decisions and also didn't medal at 2008 Worlds in what was a questionable decision

Oh my yes. To be fair though a lot of those boiled down to her horrid jump technique - the wrap, the UR and no 3loop. Perhaps she was most unlucky to have been active when UR rules were harshest and the JPN ladies field was at its strongest. Like Nikodinov and Pogorilaya she went to 3 Worlds but got edged out by Suzuki in 09.
 

VGThuy

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I think I was thinking about Tonya’s programs after she started focusing on the 3Axel was how bare her programs were outside of a glide move she did. Especially compared to Yamaguchi’s programs. But Tonya before that had pretty complicated programs as well. Her skating as a whole was more complete but then she let everything go, but had much more of a signature style afterwards...for better or worse.
 

Orm Irian

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In terms of timing Medvedeva and Chan. They both peaked mid-cycle for the Olympics. Chan was unbeatable 2011 and 2012, and Medvedeva 2016/17, but by the time the Olympics rolled around in 2014 and 2018 they had been technically bypassed.

In Medvedeva's case I think that her bad luck, insofar as it was bad luck and not bad management, came in the form of her body starting to break earlier than planned for. If she'd been physically capable of competing with the free program she originally skated at Ondrej Nepela at the start of the Olympic season, with the 1/6 split of jumping passes, and maintained her previous level of consistency, her reputation would have stayed intact and Zagitova would have had a much harder row to hoe to get past her.
 

bardtoob

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In terms of timing Medvedeva and Chan. They both peaked mid-cycle for the Olympics. Chan was unbeatable 2011 and 2012, and Medvedeva 2016/17, but by the time the Olympics rolled around in 2014 and 2018 they had been technically bypassed.

I adore Chan's skating, but I do not feel sorry for him. He does possess an Olympic Gold Medal from the Team Event, and he does not have an individual Olympic Gold Medal because of coaching choices he made, like choosing his girlfriend's mom as his coach when she only had a background in dance because she stroked his ego by telling him how great he was even when he was sloppy.
 

Colonel Green

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In Medvedeva's case I think that her bad luck, insofar as it was bad luck and not bad management, came in the form of her body starting to break earlier than planned for. If she'd been physically capable of competing with the free program she originally skated at Ondrej Nepela at the start of the Olympic season, with the 1/6 split of jumping passes, and maintained her previous level of consistency, her reputation would have stayed intact and Zagitova would have had a much harder row to hoe to get past her.
Yes, Medvedeva was certainly unlucky not so much in terms of the cycle but in that she got injured at exactly the wrong time. In a world where she was able to go to the Grand Prix Final, Zagitova wouldn't have been able to essentially rent the Russian #1 spot from her, and the latter's explosive PCS growth wouldn't have occurred at the rate that it did. She'd still have been pushed, of course, but when you consider how close the final result at the Olympics was and the reputation points Medvedeva had accumulated, she'd have been hard to unseat had she been healthy.

In terms of timing Medvedeva and Chan. They both peaked mid-cycle for the Olympics. Chan was unbeatable 2011 and 2012, and Medvedeva 2016/17, but by the time the Olympics rolled around in 2014 and 2018 they had been technically bypassed.
I wouldn't say that Chan was technically eclipsed by the Olympics (nor unlucky). A few months before the Olympics he set world records for the free and total score that it would take Hanyu two years to break. Certainly his tech advantage that existed at the midpoint of the quadrennial had eroded by that point, but he was still the judges' favourite and technically on par with the competition. He fumbled the gold away under pressure (the Olympics, it must be said, were not a venue that ever brought out the best in him).
 

Eeyora1

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Angela Nikodinov- No if’s ands or buts about it. She was visiting relatives in Bulgaria and was unreachable when she was the second alternate for worlds in 98 when both Bobek and Lipinski withdrew. Then being overshadowed by the Baby Ballerinas. She transformed in 2000/2001 thanks to her supportive coach Elena T. Then she lost Elena in the Olympic season. Then after missing out on the Olympic team injured her shoulder. Once again missing out on a post Olympic worlds after Sarah’s withdrawal. Then didn’t she lose training time at one point due to wildfires? Then she was on a path to rebuilding herself and the accident happened. Absolutely heartbreaking!
 

VGThuy

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When I was rewatching 2001 Worlds, I was giving some friends and my husband a rundown of Angela Nikodinov’s career before and after those Worlds and as I was retelling it, I was just feeling the tragedy of it all. It was a seriously sad retelling.
 

Marco

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Angela Nikodinov- No if’s ands or buts about it. She was visiting relatives in Bulgaria and was unreachable when she was the second alternate for worlds in 98 when both Bobek and Lipinski withdrew. Then being overshadowed by the Baby Ballerinas. She transformed in 2000/2001 thanks to her supportive coach Elena T. Then she lost Elena in the Olympic season. Then after missing out on the Olympic team injured her shoulder. Once again missing out on a post Olympic worlds after Sarah’s withdrawal. Then didn’t she lose training time at one point due to wildfires? Then she was on a path to rebuilding herself and the accident happened. Absolutely heartbreaking!

I think missing 98 Worlds took away a lot of love that USFS originally had in her. To me, USFS was right to be mad. She was named an alternate and there were duties involved. Anyways, if she was in Bulgaria it probably meant she wasn't training seriously for Worlds anyways so it's not like she could be of much help even if she made it back to USA in time.

She was overshadowed by the ballerinas not (just) because of the latter's crazy extension and star power, but because she was only landing like 3 triples and doubling the rest while the baby ballerinas would be landing 5 or more. In that regard, she was also somewhat lucky that she got to go to Worlds because the baby ballerinas were not old enough. Losing Elena T and her mother was definitely tragic, but I wonder if 2001 was more of an exception rather than an improvement, consistency wise. I mean she was back to her 3 - 4 triple old self after 2002.
 

bardtoob

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Todd Eldredge also had bad luck in injuring himself and/or getting sick before or at important competitions. But he did win Worlds, so he did all right overall.

(Plus he was coached by Richard Callaghan for his entire career)
According to his Twitter, he is a MAGA type now so I can’t bring myself to feel sorry for him. :shuffle:
I wonder if decades of fast toe scratch spins have messed with his brain.

Isn't everybody given an Olympic spot?

Doesn't everybody get the full political support of their federation at Worlds when they are the runner up at Nationals?

Maybe it was a decade of falling on 4T while watching others land 4T and 4S in the SP and LP.
 

sonsofanarchy

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I agree with the person who said atleast in the Olympic season Medvedeva was unlucky. I am not even a fan of hers or her skating but anyone who thinks Zagitova wins the Olympic Gold over Medvedeva with the exact same performances by both if Medvedeva were never injured and Zagitova not get to be Russian #1 for awhile and get the GOE and PCS increase that comes with that is utterly delusional and has no understanding how the sport works. Keep in mind there is absolutely no chance Zagitova wins the GPF where she barely won anyway, losing the short program to Osmond even. And she barely won her regular grand prixes over people like Higuchi, of course not Russian #1 yet as Medvedeva was still skating at that point. Nor does she win Nationals. Europeans she might have a chance since Medvedeva was not perfect there, but who knows if Medvedeva still has mistakes there, especialy her fluke double axel miss in the short, without time off, and even if she does with the total change in dynamics preceding that I am still not sure Zagitova wins. Even if she somehow does she still has nowhere near the position going into the Games she did as winning all 3 of those events.
 

viennese

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I often think of the skaters who finished 4th to 8th in big events, the US nationals and Europeans, who almost made the podium.

One skater I always liked was another Carlo Fassi student: Joanne Conway of Great Britain.

She had beautiful style yet she ran into a series of awful leg, ankle, and foot injuries. that must have been incredibly frustrating. I remember that she did one super cool, extremely difficult free skate choreographed by Christopher Dean.
 

overedge

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One skater I always liked was another Carlo Fassi student: Joanne Conway of Great Britain.

She had beautiful style yet she ran into a series of awful leg, ankle, and foot injuries. that must have been incredibly frustrating. I remember that she did one super cool, extremely difficult free skate choreographed by Christopher Dean.

Yes, she was fantastic. I guess "unlucky" also includes great skaters who represent smaller federations/countries without a lot of politicking power. Like when Rahkamo/Kokko were doing incredible programs but not getting the marks, and were allegedly told by an ice dancing judge "sorry, you're from Finland".
 

sonsofanarchy

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Every time I read a rundown of Zagitova/Medvedeva during the 2017-2018 season, I just find it so similar to Lipinski/Kwan leading up to 1998.

True although Kwan still went into the Olympics as the clear favorite after her heroic Nationals in 98. I am not sure if Medvedeva even went into the Games as the favorite anymore, in fact I think she wasn't.
 

VGThuy

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Also, what is with this eRacing thing?? Add it to the rest of the eSports that I just don't understand.

I don't get it either, but a lot of these "eSports" are much more lucrative and make way more money and have much bigger fan bases than traditional sports. Figure skating fandom pales in comparison. One very rich and I guess famous gamer got too big for his britches that he made fun of a NFL kicker and said his job was harder than that and got a reality check when he realized outside of his bubble (and even within) people still had respect for traditional athletes. My husband puts on videos for me sometimes and the commentary makes me laugh so much.
 
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overedge

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There are also colleges/universities that now have eGames teams, along with the usual range of collegiate sports.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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One skater I always liked was another Carlo Fassi student: Joanne Conway of Great Britain.

She had beautiful style yet she ran into a series of awful leg, ankle, and foot injuries. that must have been incredibly frustrating. I remember that she did one super cool, extremely difficult free skate choreographed by Christopher Dean.

Yes, she was fantastic. I guess "unlucky" also includes great skaters who represent smaller federations/countries without a lot of politicking power.

I have been watching a lot of past events uploaded by @Erin lately. One competition of particular interest was Skate Canada 1987. Years ago when I saw the 1988 Olympic Games on television, Conway had the most spectacular meltdown in the short program, and it baffled me how she had won bronze against Debi Thomas (who won) and Liz Manley (who took silver) barely four months earlier.

Finally seeing this event, Conway was really good. She skated a solid free, included three triples, two toe loops and a first rate triple loop.

The pressure on her must have been intense. Not only knowing money was being spent on her training with the most politically savvy coaches in the world (Carlo and Christa Fassi), but that Great Britain was desperate for the next best thing after a winning gold with John Curry in 1976, Robin Cousins in 1980, and Torvill & Dean in 1984.

In 1991, I always thought she should have won bronze in the European Championships, and potentially bronze at the World Championships ahead of Kerrigan, Ito, Bonaly, and Chouinard as well.

Speaking of which, Josee Chouinard was a skater hobbled by nerves at big events. She certainly had the talent to do so much better, as did Tanya Bingert, another strong short program skater from Canada, who seemed to crumble under pressure.
 

overedge

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@essence_of_soy I remember seeing an interview with Conway where she said that her training was also being partially paid for by her mum working multiple jobs, and that she also felt pressure to do well because she didn't want to waste her mum's hard work (or words to that effect).
 

Judy

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Kurt Browning won four world championships, and is the only skater to win worlds with and without the figures competition. That's a record that will never be matched unless figures are put back into competition (we can only hope). He was not unlucky at all.

YesI agree. He really was a household name in Canada. The first Olympics he was never expected to win anything, the 2nd he had the back injury and the third I think was just his heart had gone out of it/timing etc. Inthink any athlete that makes it to 3 olympics has to be respected.
 

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