Was Mark Mitchell robbed?

When was Mark Mitchell robbed?


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kwanfan1818

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I think it was clear that Virtue/Moir were going to decide what programs they wanted to skate, just like in Sochi, and Moir, at least, was key to getting Chan to participate, to be able to compete for Team Gold.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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What a question from Julie Moran after Paul Wylie skated his 1992 Nationals free skate! "Paul, should you not make this Olympic team do you feel in any way these last four years of hard work have been a waste of time?" No other questions, just that!

Bringing it back to Mark: what were his strongest/weakest jumps?

Ah Ms Moran, always hitting us with hard copy reporting.

Talk about trying to snatch Peggy's crown for being the resident bitch! (I happened to share a shuttle bus with some of the ABC tech crew from Detroit airport in '94. They were laughing about flipping a coin to see who'd have to share a hotel room with La Fleming.)

I am also reminded of when I attended the 1994 US Nationals in person, and my seat was positioned in front of ABC's commentary booth. The hair and make-up person was always making Julie's hair bigger, and as soon as they left, Moran would take out her own hairbrush to flatten it. This up and down routine became somewhat of a drinking game for our row throughout the week, too.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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What a question from Julie Moran after Paul Wylie skated his 1992 Nationals free skate! "Paul, should you not make this Olympic team do you feel in any way these last four years of hard work have been a waste of time?" No other questions, just that!
To Paul's credit, he probably gave the performance of the games in Albertville with this electrifying short program.

 

Marco

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I love Mark Mitchell's skating and will give the videos a good watch these holidays to see how I feel whether he was robbed at any of his own comps. I feel he was never cut any slack (vs Paul or Todd) because he didn't quite have the planned content. During his peak it's 1 3axel and one of each other triple, with 6 triples total usually, an occasional 3/3 or a second 3loop at best. Todd and Paul both had 2 3axels planned, Todd also had 3/3s and Paul also repeated the lutz (albeit not being able to do decent jump combinations) - so even if Mark would outskate them the judges / Fed could easily dismiss his skating as being easier / or that Todd and Paul had stronger 'potential'.

As for Ross, the BOW argument need not be repeated. It's very clear. At the time I believe I read somewhere that Nathan and Adam were the first two named to the team (and this was probably why they were selected for the team event, like Ashley in 2014), and the struggle (if that) was between Ross and Vincent. Last time the USFS went with pure Nationals results for men and sent him over Jeremy to Worlds in 2011, they ended up losing a spot; and Ross had nothing spectacular to show for himself internationally thereafter even though USFS gave him full fall and GP assignment opportunities - no making GPF, no strong showings at 4CCs or Worlds even when he made them, no consistent performances, etc. His best were in 2011 / 2012 and even then they were not spectacular. I simply can't imagine how anyone in power would strongly argue FOR him at the committee, or what argument that this person can use. It's like - what faith do you have in someone who had had the Fed's full support for years but had time and again under-perform, and had skated very well here but mostly because he was pacing himself to peak at Nationals and simply went for broke because he had nothing to lose? By Nationals his international SB was 233.72 and his last National medal was 5 years ago. Vincent was the reigning Jr World champ and had just won his second consecutive national medal - his SB was 256.66 and had the 4lutz. Realistically Ross was on his way out and not a medal hope at all at the Olympics anyways whereas Vincent was just up and coming and had a good shot at top 5 if his jumps worked which did happen at the Olympics free. I don't feel the decision was controversial at all.

Just as an aside, when USFS last ignored BOW in a close contest for men in 2011, the men placed 9, 11, 13 at Worlds. When USFS last ignored BOW in a close contest for ladies in 2018, the ladies placed 9, 10, 11 at the Olympics.
 
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Erin

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I love Mark Mitchell's skating and will give the videos a good watch these holidays to see how I feel whether he was robbed at any of his own comps. I feel he was never cut any slack (vs Paul or Todd) because he didn't quite have the planned content. During his peak it's 1 3axel and one of each other triple, with 6 triples total usually, an occasional 3/3 or a second 3loop at best. Todd and Paul both had 2 3axels planned, Todd also had 3/3s and Paul also repeated the lutz (albeit not being able to do decent jump combinations) - so even if Mark would outskate them the judges / Fed could easily dismiss his skating as being easier / or that Todd and Paul had stronger 'potential'.

I agree that Todd had more content than Mark. Todd had by far the most content of any of the American men at that time, the only one who could match the jump content that Browning and Petrenko were putting out. So I can see why he got a push from the USFSA, terrible programs notwithstanding.

Paul didn’t add the second triple axel in the free program until the 1992 season and he also didn’t have a triple loop, so it’s debatable whether he had more content than Mark. And by 1992, Mark was attempting a triple-triple, which Paul obviously didn’t have. So I think their content was about even. (And if the judges were going on planned content, Bowman would have been the one dumped.)

Two other random Paul observations from all of his skating I’ve watched in the past few days. First, I’m so glad he got a new program for the Olympic season. His long program before it was good, but he had it for at least three seasons in a row, maybe four? Second, I do respect him for trying to up the game technically throughout that quadrennial - adding the triple axel in the long, then later adding it to the short, then putting two in the long. He wasn’t always successful with his technical, but I don’t think anyone can say he rested on his laurels.
 

olympic

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I love Mark Mitchell's skating and will give the videos a good watch these holidays to see how I feel whether he was robbed at any of his own comps. I feel he was never cut any slack (vs Paul or Todd) because he didn't quite have the planned content. During his peak it's 1 3axel and one of each other triple, with 6 triples total usually, an occasional 3/3 or a second 3loop at best. Todd and Paul both had 2 3axels planned, Todd also had 3/3s and Paul also repeated the lutz (albeit not being able to do decent jump combinations) - so even if Mark would outskate them the judges / Fed could easily dismiss his skating as being easier / or that Todd and Paul had stronger 'potential'.

As for Ross, the BOW argument need not be repeated. It's very clear. At the time I believe I read somewhere that Nathan and Adam were the first two named to the team (and this was probably why they were selected for the team event, like Ashley in 2014), and the struggle (if that) was between Ross and Vincent. Last time the USFS went with pure Nationals results for men and sent him over Jeremy to Worlds in 2011, they ended up losing a spot; and Ross had nothing spectacular to show for himself internationally thereafter even though USFS gave him full fall and GP assignment opportunities - no making GPF, no strong showings at 4CCs or Worlds even when he made them, no consistent performances, etc. His best were in 2011 / 2012 and even then they were not spectacular. I simply can't imagine how anyone in power would strongly argue FOR him at the committee, or what argument that this person can use. It's like - what faith do you have in someone who had had the Fed's full support for years but had time and again under-perform, and had skated very well here but mostly because he was pacing himself to peak at Nationals and simply went for broke because he had nothing to lose? By Nationals his international SB was 233.72 and his last National medal was 5 years ago. Vincent was the reigning Jr World champ and had just won his second consecutive national medal - his SB was 256.66 and had the 4lutz. Realistically Ross was on his way out and not a medal hope at all at the Olympics anyways whereas Vincent was just up and coming and had a good shot at top 5 if his jumps worked which did happen at the Olympics free. I don't feel the decision was controversial at all.

Just as an aside, when USFS last ignored BOW in a close contest for men in 2011, the men placed 9, 11, 13 at Worlds. When USFS last ignored BOW in a close contest for ladies in 2018, the ladies placed 9, 10, 11 at the Olympics.
^THIS. I never got the argument for Miner in 2018 for the reasons you accurately cited and was surprised there was such a big wuz robbed thread.

I thought about 2011 recently (holidays, no skating, YKW, lots of time) I wonder if it would've been a shrewd move to send Bradley, Miner and Abbott to 2011 Worlds and keep Dornbush a junior. I realize that Dornbush was highest US man at Worlds that year, but in retrospect, it seemed like he needed more time to gel because the following years were mostly a disaster. I am not sure what his story was. The US probably would've managed the same result anyway at 2011 Worlds, and Dornbush would've been given enough time to breathe.
 

meggonzo

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Two other random Paul observations from all of his skating I’ve watched in the past few days.
One of my thoughts is that I wish Yuzuru would give him a call so Paul could teach him how to hold tension in his body. Also, my friends and I used to try to do the arm whip things that he did in his sit spins, and I'd really like to be able to go skating again!
 

meggonzo

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First, I’m so glad he got a new program for the Olympic season. His long program before it was good, but he had it for at least three seasons in a row, maybe four?
I looked up his 88 program and that was definitely different from 91, so he must have had the same long for 89-91. The 88 program is more "80s". :shuffle:
 

Erin

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I looked up his 88 program and that was definitely different from 91, so he must have had the same long for 89-91. The 88 program is more "80s". :shuffle:

:lol: thanks for checking. 1988 stuff is next on my watch list, so I guess I can have that to dubiously look forward to. It was definitely the same long from 89-91.
 

BittyBug

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One of my thoughts is that I wish Yuzuru would give him a call so Paul could teach him how to hold tension in his body.
The only two skaters I can think of that held a similar amount of tension when skating are Wylie and Sasha Cohen, so I don't think it's that easy. Curry also held a lot of tension, but he lacked speed and I think it's much easier to be rigid in a static position.
 

her grace

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When USFS last ignored BOW in a close contest for ladies in 2018, the ladies placed 9, 10, 11 at the Olympics.

Not to get too far afield from Mark Mitchell, but there's no proof that USFS did not use BOW for the 2018 ladies selections.

Tennell had the highest SB, the GP bronze in tier two, and the tier one national title. Nagasu had the second-highest SB, the 4CC bronze in tier two, and the national silver in tier one. And Chen had the two head-to-head tier one victories over Wagner, including her 4th-place finish at 2017 worlds. Wagner's BOW for the 2017 and 2018 seasons was slim; remember her victorious 2016 season did not count in the BOW criteria.
 

kwanfan1818

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The only two skaters I can think of that held a similar amount of tension when skating are Wylie and Sasha Cohen, so I don't think it's that easy. Curry also held a lot of tension, but he lacked speed and I think it's much easier to be rigid in a static position.
Wylie spent a bit of time training either with or alongside Curry; I think he said one summer. He told an anecdote about how Curry demanded he point his foot, when Wylie thought he was already pointing his foot.

Curry was a direct influence on Wylie.
 

meggonzo

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I was looking at Paul's Wikipedia page earlier and saw that Robin Cousins lived with his family while training with Fassi in Colorado. I am kinda baffled that Paul left his family that already lived in Colorado and training with Fassi, to go to the Scotvolds? He said he wanted to re-work his technique, but there must be more to the story, right?
 

meggonzo

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The quote from Wikipedia is this: In 1985, wanting to rework some of his technique, Wylie left Fassi and began to train instead with Evy and Mary Scotvold, who were at that time located in Janesville, Wisconsin. Shortly afterwards, they all moved to the Boston area.
Did he already know they were planning to move to Boston?
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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I looked up his 88 program and that was definitely different from 91, so he must have had the same long for 89-91. The 88 program is more "80s". :shuffle:
:lol: thanks for checking. 1988 stuff is next on my watch list, so I guess I can have that to dubiously look forward to. It was definitely the same long from 89-91.
Paul was fabulous in France, and his Olympic silver kick-started a wonderful second act.

I would be much more comfortable with Petrenko's win if he'd actually skated to new content in 1992. He had used the short the previous year, and the free skate for three seasons since 1990.

Viktor really looked like he was phoning it in by Albertville.
 
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Marco

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Only seeing the free skates portion:

1990 Nationals -

Todd: 3axel 3turn 3toe, 3flip, short deathdrop back sit (3), 3sal, 2loop, short flying sit (2), 2lutz2toe, change camel (3/6), sequence of opposite axels, combo spin average of 1.5 rev per position, 2axel, split flip 3toe, 3loop, flying camel (3), steps into half scratch spin. Very poor spinning that deserved some dings. A lot of two footed skating and visibly tired towards the end. 5.7/5.7

Paul: 3flip, 3axel s.o., 3lutz, 3toe2toe, flying camel (6) into scratch, 3sal, combo spin (3 per position), turns into 3toe, 3lutz turn 2toe, skid spirals into axel, split jumps into flying sit (3), scratch. All around wonderful field moves and more content in choreography than Todd. Deservedly ahead of Todd in the free. 5.8/6.0

Mark: axel, 3loop, flying camel (6), 3toe2toe, 3lutz, 3flip, camel change sit (2/2), 2sal, 3loop1loop, flying sit change sit (3/2), 2axel. Not rotating the 3axel and not very strong in spins like Todd, but very musical and strong choreography. 5.5/5.8

I don't think Mark had a good case for 3rd in the free and in any event, with Todd being far in front after figures and the short, and Paul clearly winning the free, I don't think Mark had a case for higher than 3rd overall and be sent to 1990 Worlds.

1991 Nationals -

Chris: 3lutz, 3axel, 3flip step 2toe, 1axel, flying camel to layover (4), 3loop, ina 3toe, basic combo spin, 3sal, camel (3), SE to sit (3), 3flip2toe, arabian to scratch. Simplistic program but nice delivery. 5.7/5.8

Todd: crossfoot spin (6), 3axel3toe just, 3loop just, flying sit (3), 3flip, basic combo spin, 3lutz, 3sal, change camel (3/3), 3axel, deathdrop back sit (6), 2axel, 2toe2toe, flying camel to sit (3+2), scratch. Strong jumps despite a few weak landings, embarrassing program even for the early 90s and again visibly weaker near the end. 5.9/5.6

Shepard: 3loop, 3axel fall, 2lutz, flying camel (4), 3flip turn out, cool slide combo into crossfoot spin, upright spin on outside edge, 3axel turn out, 3toe, 2sal, long SE into 3loop stumble, arabians, big and beautiful combo spin. Pretty interesting program with the spins and sequences of moves, esp after watching Todd's dull program. 5.4/5.7

Mark: 3axel, 3flip2toe, flying sit (4), 3lutz, toe arabian back camel to sit change sit, 3loop, very clean jump landings and lots of content in between the program, change camel (3/3), 3sal, flying camel (4), 3toe, 2axel, scratch. I prefer him to Chris here - he showed a lot more actual content besides the jumps and real musicality with body and edges, not just posing. 5.8/5.9 I feel judges giving him 5.7 on the second mark is quite insane.

Paul: 3flip, 3axel, 3lutz, 2sal, flying camel (5), 1axel, ina into combo spin, steps into 3toe, 3lutz turn 2toe, split jumps into flyingh sit, scratch. Very elegant but lacking in jump content. 5.7/5.9

Michael: 3flip3toe, 3lutz2toe, 1ft axel-4sal (UR and 2ft), flying camel, 3loop2toe, toe arabian back sit change upright, deathdrop back sit (3.5), 3sal, 2axel, 2flip, 2axel, 1lutz, 3toe stumble, final combo spin. Juniorish. 5.5/5.5

I loved Mark's performance and felt it should have won the night. Too bad he placed 4th in the night and overall. I feel he was robbed of a medal and a trip to Munich Worlds. Too bad Mark's stronger program did not matter to the judges. I would have left Todd off of the team but obviously that wasn't going to happen. It was a good night and everyone skated well - Todd's 2 3axels made the difference but Mark, Paul and Chris should have had a much bigger edge on the second mark.
 

SmallFairy

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But the training facilities in the Ukraine went downhill after the Soviet Union broke up. I remember commentators talking about rinks closing etc. That was around 93-94 but still, maybe Victor didn’t have all the ice time available he needed to make new programs every season, and not the finances to pay for choreography either (or did Galina make bis programs) and he
chose to focus on the jumps, that could bring him the OGM. You cannot blame him though for choosing the path that worked for him, it must have been a big deal for him to win for Ukraine, though he skated under the Unified flag.

(Or was he and Galina already training in the US by 1991-92? Either way, ice rent is expensive).
 

Plusdinfo

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Too bad he placed 4th in the night and overall. I feel he was robbed of a medal and a trip to Munich Worlds. Too bad Mark's stronger program did not matter to the judges.
I find YouTube comments quite informative at times.

"As a former judge I can tell you three things judges didnt like about him - telegraphing his jumps, lack of height on them, and his complaining"

"Another thing that hampered him was lack of 3/3 combinations and his triple axel was more miss than hit. You could see in the way he telegraphed the take of, that he was terrified of doing it. And I think on this occasion, his outfit didn’t match the score he was skating too. The music is masculine in nature."

"I completely agree with the Top 3. (I hate to say it, but even when Mitchell skated perfectly, I found his skating underwhelming and borderline dull.) Eldredge beat him with greater power and two 3Axels; Wylie beat him with superior artistry and comparable jump content; Bowman beat him with more jump height and power, and better overall commitment to the program."

"Mark was very inconsistent in competition, and particularly on his triple axel, and without it, you cant get on the podium, and Bowman and Eldredge had more international success, and the judges picked right that year....both Bowman and Eldredge could have been given the bronze medal at worlds. The argument comes with Wylie, who was very inconsistent, but a better technician and performer. This is not to say Mark wasnt. He had amazing extension, but he did not communicate power or clarity in his skating. His edge always skidded going into the TA, which usually meant a bad landing 9/10 times. He was very artistic, but I think if he had been sharper technically, he would have been better received. I will also tell you he fell out of favor in 1993 when he choked at worlds and the judging community REALLY wrote him off when he cost the US an Olympic spot. He wisely retired soon after."

And now my comments: I bet many would love to smack me and disagree, but if I were a judge, I would try to mark based on what I saw on a given day, not based on potential, not based on the possibility of earning a medal in some future competition, but based on what actually took place. Sadly, skaters are at the mercy of humans, and those humans can and do make unknowing and often intentional "mistakes" or decisions that would be ruled unjust by at least some other people.

I just watched the 1991 Nationals LP from Mitchell, and while I appreciate the continuity of the program, the jump landings, and the line, I would agree with commenters noting his lack of commitment and power. He could have done with some more intensity in certain sections of the program when the music calls for it. Perhaps his movements and approach better matched relaxed classical music.

Also, as unfair as it would be if the case, think about this: Eldredge, Bowman, and Wylie may have been viewed as straight-acting when compared to Mitchell. Those familiar with write-ups about the USFSA will recall its concern for the image of men in the sport, so maybe with this pack of four male skaters, their behavior/presumed sexuality factored into judging and team selections.

To go back to the robbed topic of the thread, I did not rewatch the 1991 Nationals long programs of the other guys, but I will make one further comment: I don't need to rewatch Todd Eldredge's program to know that anything he put out in 1991 would not have gotten a higher second mark in my book than Mark's program. For that quartet of guys, I believe it's a case of "one of these things just doesn't belong here" when it comes to the second mark.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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Also, as unfair as it would be if the case, think about this: Eldredge, Bowman, and Wylie may have been viewed as straight-acting when compared to Mitchell. Those familiar with write-ups about the USFSA will recall its concern for the image of men in the sport, so maybe with this pack of four male skaters, their behavior/presumed sexuality factored into judging and team selections.
Eldredge and Coach Callahan had 'friendship rings' made for them. Wylie, from a number of sources, was tortured by his strict upbringing, and married to please his religious parents. Bowman, being from Van Nuys (the gay porn capital of the world), allegedly knew his way around a photo shoot or two.

I guess Mark felt he had to play the game, and invented a girlfriend to keep USFSA happy.

Skating is all about image. What an athlete puts out on the ice must extend to their public persona off the ice as well.

To US Skating's credit, thank goodness they are up to speed and have come a long way since the nineties when being perceived as gay wasn't great for their ideal of perpetuating what a male skater should represent.
 
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BittyBug

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I find YouTube comments quite informative at times.

"As a former judge I can tell you three things judges didnt like about him - telegraphing his jumps, lack of height on them, and his complaining"
The last part of that comment speaks to the worst of this sport. As you said, Mitchell should have been judged by what happened on the ice.
 

olympic

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Only seeing the free skates portion:

1990 Nationals -

Todd: 3axel 3turn 3toe, 3flip, short deathdrop back sit (3), 3sal, 2loop, short flying sit (2), 2lutz2toe, change camel (3/6), sequence of opposite axels, combo spin average of 1.5 rev per position, 2axel, split flip 3toe, 3loop, flying camel (3), steps into half scratch spin. Very poor spinning that deserved some dings. A lot of two footed skating and visibly tired towards the end. 5.7/5.7

Paul: 3flip, 3axel s.o., 3lutz, 3toe2toe, flying camel (6) into scratch, 3sal, combo spin (3 per position), turns into 3toe, 3lutz turn 2toe, skid spirals into axel, split jumps into flying sit (3), scratch. All around wonderful field moves and more content in choreography than Todd. Deservedly ahead of Todd in the free. 5.8/6.0

Mark: axel, 3loop, flying camel (6), 3toe2toe, 3lutz, 3flip, camel change sit (2/2), 2sal, 3loop1loop, flying sit change sit (3/2), 2axel. Not rotating the 3axel and not very strong in spins like Todd, but very musical and strong choreography. 5.5/5.8

I don't think Mark had a good case for 3rd in the free and in any event, with Todd being far in front after figures and the short, and Paul clearly winning the free, I don't think Mark had a case for higher than 3rd overall and be sent to 1990 Worlds.

1991 Nationals -

Chris: 3lutz, 3axel, 3flip step 2toe, 1axel, flying camel to layover (4), 3loop, ina 3toe, basic combo spin, 3sal, camel (3), SE to sit (3), 3flip2toe, arabian to scratch. Simplistic program but nice delivery. 5.7/5.8

Todd: crossfoot spin (6), 3axel3toe just, 3loop just, flying sit (3), 3flip, basic combo spin, 3lutz, 3sal, change camel (3/3), 3axel, deathdrop back sit (6), 2axel, 2toe2toe, flying camel to sit (3+2), scratch. Strong jumps despite a few weak landings, embarrassing program even for the early 90s and again visibly weaker near the end. 5.9/5.6

Shepard: 3loop, 3axel fall, 2lutz, flying camel (4), 3flip turn out, cool slide combo into crossfoot spin, upright spin on outside edge, 3axel turn out, 3toe, 2sal, long SE into 3loop stumble, arabians, big and beautiful combo spin. Pretty interesting program with the spins and sequences of moves, esp after watching Todd's dull program. 5.4/5.7

Mark: 3axel, 3flip2toe, flying sit (4), 3lutz, toe arabian back camel to sit change sit, 3loop, very clean jump landings and lots of content in between the program, change camel (3/3), 3sal, flying camel (4), 3toe, 2axel, scratch. I prefer him to Chris here - he showed a lot more actual content besides the jumps and real musicality with body and edges, not just posing. 5.8/5.9 I feel judges giving him 5.7 on the second mark is quite insane.

Paul: 3flip, 3axel, 3lutz, 2sal, flying camel (5), 1axel, ina into combo spin, steps into 3toe, 3lutz turn 2toe, split jumps into flyingh sit, scratch. Very elegant but lacking in jump content. 5.7/5.9

Michael: 3flip3toe, 3lutz2toe, 1ft axel-4sal (UR and 2ft), flying camel, 3loop2toe, toe arabian back sit change upright, deathdrop back sit (3.5), 3sal, 2axel, 2flip, 2axel, 1lutz, 3toe stumble, final combo spin. Juniorish. 5.5/5.5

I loved Mark's performance and felt it should have won the night. Too bad he placed 4th in the night and overall. I feel he was robbed of a medal and a trip to Munich Worlds. Too bad Mark's stronger program did not matter to the judges. I would have left Todd off of the team but obviously that wasn't going to happen. It was a good night and everyone skated well - Todd's 2 3axels made the difference but Mark, Paul and Chris should have had a much bigger edge on the second mark.
Your opinions are appreciated, but if you look at the BOW (trying to get into the USFSA judges minds) -

Bowman had a habit of pulling through and doing enough to either medal or finish respectably at Worlds / 1988 Olympics, regardless of his off-ice behavior - 7th in Calgary Olympics, 5th in 88 Worlds, Silver in 89, Bronze in 90. So, I can see where the TPTB were OK with positioning him on the 91 Worlds team.

Eldredge was 5th at 1990 Worlds and his SS potential was evident; his 3A+3T jump combo was the most challenging in this, the sunset of the pre-quad era. He was more proven compared to Mitchell.

The 2nd mark is pretty subject, so I am not sure of a guarantee that Mitchell's on-ice beauty would have been as well-received by international judges, even if he were scored by your standards at 91 Nationals. Maybe national judges had that in the back of their minds when positioning the 91 U.S. Men's team ....

If anyone was to be booted for Mitchell, it might have been Wylie who was 3rd / Mitchell 4th at Nationals that year, and Wylie's inability to hold it together. It's not rebutting your scores. They seem well-thought out, just chiming in w/ a review of the BOW to that point
 

olympic

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Eldredge and Coach Callahan had 'friendship rings' made for them. Wylie, from a number of sources, was tortured by his strict upbringing, and married to please his religious parents. Bowman, being from Van Nuys (the gay porn capital of the world), allegedly knew his way around a photo shoot or two.

I guess Mark felt he had to play the game, and invented a girlfriend to keep USFSA happy.

Skating is all about image. What an athlete puts out on the ice must extend to their public persona off the ice as well.

To US Skating's credit, thank goodness they are up to speed and have come a long way since the nineties when being perceived as gay wasn't great for their ideal of perpetuating what a male skater should represent.
'Friendship rings'? Wow. Maybe Callahan had a crush on Eldredge .... Interesting take on the lives of the top US men at the time. Wow.

I always found it such a foreign concept that men whose sexuality are practically on their sleeve like Mark need to play straight but I understand the attempt. Same thing happens in Hollywood. As a 14 yr. old, I innately knew in 1984 that Boitano was gay and I had so little exposure to gay people to that point in my life (my own religious parents).
 

Wyliefan

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So I'm a Wylie fan, obvs, but I became one during his pro career, so I've never seen a lot of what was going on before and during the Olympic year. I've been looking at videos, and what none of you prepared me for was how much Paul and Mark resembled each other! That 1992 nats free skate, they had almost the same hair and almost the same costume. And I really started laughing when Mark started skating to the On the Waterfront music that Paul would use later on. :lol:

Anyway, first impressions of the actual skating: I thought (and allow for my bias) that Mark had less complex choreography and his skating was more labored. And Paul made a mess of his combination, but then Mark fell out of his. They were both very good, but I can see how Paul got the edge.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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After Nationals in Detroit, a group of skaters were hanging around Dunkin Donuts at The Renaissance Center.

It took every ounce of courage, but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to say to Mark how much I loved his skating. He seemed genuinely touched, too.
 

meggonzo

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And I think on this occasion, his outfit didn’t match the score he was skating too.
I wouldn't say that the outfit didn't match the music, but I noticed on rewatching that Mark's pants looked too baggy and it made him look sloppy to me. I think with better fitting pants his lines would have shown more.
 

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