World Medallists Who Aren't Olympians

Who is your favourite non-Olympian with a world medal?

  • Cynthia Coull & Mark Rowsom

    Votes: 3 4.3%
  • Cindy Landry

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Holly Cook

    Votes: 3 4.3%
  • Rudy Galindo

    Votes: 33 47.1%
  • Elena Radionova

    Votes: 12 17.1%
  • Anna Pogorilaya

    Votes: 19 27.1%

  • Total voters
    70
  • Poll closed .

Erin

Well-Known Member
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10,437
Partly inspired by all the discussion of Holly Cook in Aerobicidal's poll and partly because I was thinking about this topic while watching 1986 Worlds, please choose your favourite world medallist who never made it to the Olympics. Note - current skaters are not included since they could still make the Olympics. You can choose based on any criteria you want, such as hardest luck story, think they were brutally robbed of the Olympics, think they are the most talented non-Olympians, or because you love barrel rolls.

I'm only going as far back as the mid-80s because I don't feel like searching earlier eras for people's records. Choices are:

Cynthia Coull & Mark Rowsom - Finished 3rd at Canadians in 1984, but since Underhill and Martini were out with an injury, it wasn't enough to make the Olympic team. Cynthia also just missed out on a singles spot that year, finishing 3rd with only two spots. They competed at Worlds that year and the next three, peaking with a 1986 bronze medal. Unfortunately, Mark had a groin injury that was already holding them back in 1986 and it resulted in a disastrous free skate at 1987 Worlds. He got surgery after that and then they got back on the ice so late that they decided to retire before the Olympic season.

Cindy Landry - After winning the junior Canadian title in 1988, she teamed up with two-time Olympian Lyndon Johnston and together, they won a surprise silver medal at 1989 Worlds behind Gordeeva and Grinkov. They won their first Canadian title in 1990, but at Worlds, they were held back by not having side by side double axels and dropped to 9th and that seemed to be it for them. She did do some pro skating with Burt Lancon (former partner of Jill Watson).

Holly Cook - really should be no introduction needed. Finished 6th at Nationals in 1988 and wasn't really part of the conversation, but then made the World team in 1990 and won a surprise bronze medal. When figures were eliminated, she dropped back down to 6th in the US in 1991 and retired before 1992.

Rudy Galindo - Two-time US champion in pairs with Yamaguchi in 1989-90, he looked on track to go to the 1992 Olympics in pairs when she decided to focus on singles. He also kept going with singles, generally finishing around 8th-10th at US Nationals with a peak of 5th in 1993, until his magical win in 1996. He followed that up with bronze at Worlds that year and then decided to take advantage of his newfound success and go pro.

Elena Radionova - Two-time World Junior champ and the new it-girl in Russian skating, she was too young for the 2014 Olympics (and no guarantees should have made it anyway with only two spots for Russia). She made her World debut the next year with a bronze medal, but by 2016, the field was stronger and she ended up 6th at Worlds. A combination of puberty and the incredibly deep Russian field meant she wasn't even in the conversation by 2018.

Anna Pogorilaya - she had a great season in 2014, but with only two spots for Russia, it wasn't enough to get her on the Olympic team, although she did make her World debut that year after Sotnikova withdrew. She was kind of in the shadow of other Russian skaters most of her career, but had a spectacular skate at 2016 Worlds to win the bronze medal. She looked like she was on track to medal again in 2017, but a disastrous free skate dropped her out of contention. Injuries plagued her the next season and she withdrew from Russian Nationals.
 

Erin

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Tuktamysheva is still skating, so not eligible for the poll! (ETA, Higuchi is ineligible for the same reason in case anyone brings her up.)
 

beckab81

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244
I loved the joy that Radionovia had when skating, especially as a junior and early senior. I also loved Galindo (I guess I have a thing for emotional skaters).
 

Aerobicidal

Shut that door.
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I loved the joy that Radionovia had when skating, especially as a junior and early senior. I also loved Galindo (I guess I have a thing for emotional skaters).
Are you implying Holly Cook wasn't an emotional skater? I am horrified and offended by that possibility.

I voted for Pogorilaya. I'm only really familiar with her and Radionova and that was NOT a difficult choice for me. Seeing both of them live makes it an even easier choice.
 

Marco

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14,908
I enjoy Pog's skating so much, but I almost always wanna check the results / protocol BEFORE I watched her in case it was once of those crashing performances.
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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5,988
Cynthia Coull truly was the Ken Shelley and Kristi Yamaguchi of her generation.

That she and her partner, Mark Rowsom, got spectators' attention at their national debut with side by side triple jumps, and multiple triple throws, speaks volumes in an era when only the Soviet Union's Valova/Vasiliev and Selezneva/Makarov had similar technical content. To that point, I believe she had only been skating pairs for about 18 months.

I love that she was an excellent singles skater as well, and even beat Liz Manley in the free skate at the 1985 National Championships to win the overall silver medal.
 

Erin

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10,437
Cynthia Coull truly was the Ken Shelley and Kristi Yamaguchi of her generation.

I love that she was an excellent singles skater as well, and even beat Liz Manley in the free skate at the 1985 National Championships to win the overall silver medal.

She also beat Liz in both the short and long at 1985 Worlds, for a top ten finish, after finishing 18th in figures.

After watching 1986 Worlds, I had been curious about why Coull & Rowsom weren’t attempting their more difficult side by side jumps and in my search for the answer, I came across this article, which has tons of details and a great interview with Mark:

And Cynthia may not have been to the Olympics, but she does have an arena named after her in Quebec!
 

Foolhardy Ham Lint

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5,988
She also beat Liz in both the short and long at 1985 Worlds, for a top ten finish, after finishing 18th in figures.

After watching 1986 Worlds, I had been curious about why Coull & Rowsom weren’t attempting their more difficult side by side jumps and in my search for the answer, I came across this article, which has tons of details and a great interview with Mark:

And Cynthia may not have been to the Olympics, but she does have an arena named after her in Quebec!
The team also beat Gordeeva and Grinkov, who at the time were the 1986 World Champions, later that year at Skate Canada '86. Admittedly, G & G skated a free program littered with errors. But a win over the World Champions in this politically-driven sport is still pretty impressive.
 

Marco

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14,908
I was going to write in Yukari Nakano until I remembered that she never won a Worlds medal...not even in 2008.
As time goes by I now can understand the results more, especially if I do not challenge the UR calls being called.
 

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