Archive for the ‘“the final countdown”’ Tag

From the Bowels: 80s Pairs’ Olympics Hot Messes

In preparation for the Vancouver pairs competition I dug up some of the performances from the 80s to jog my memory on how that competitive field looked, and how far that discipline has come. At the time, I was graduating from elementary (’84) and high school (’88). I MUST have watched these Games with my mom, but don’t remember any of these performances. Upon review, it’s no wonder why! And, in the midst of all the complaints about the CoP System, a peek back at the 6.0 system shows some politicized judging at it’s worst.

Valova & Vasiliev Reign

First, I came across this priceless human interest story, featuring ’84 Sarajevo champions Valova & Vasiliev (he the coach of Mukhortova & Trankov). After starting out like a Bel Ami video (prurient giggling by babbling brook), it shows them buckled down at the Leningrad Institute of Physical Culture, “a veritable medal factory.”

What a glimpse into the thriving machine that was Mother Russia (the Soviet Union). Boy, they sure appear to have them under a tight thumb (not that that grip is any looser these days). And, what a reminder of Moskvina’s longevity. The video also features their flawed, but gold-medal Classical Beatles LP, which ran out of gas at the end (as compared to the Carruthers’ flawless performance).

Fast forward four years to the Calgary Games (1988), and V&V display the most deliciously dated program and costumery imaginable, with their “The Final Countdown” LP. I was giddy to discover this pinnacle of the “Eye of the Tiger” alpha-male jam genre was used for a program. This program leaps to the top of my skating camp classics! One part Star Trek crew (with diagonal, cross-breast bands), one part bumblebee, their costumes, complete with black tights for her are in the worst taste…but, what could be better?! Her blouse/skirt one-piece sort of drips off her backside, saying “look at my ass,” ala Weir. Perhaps this is where he takes some of his Rusky fashion inspiration? Their SP costumes are even more ridiculous: Flash Gordon + A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. How precious that Dick refers to her as “plump,” and feigns it as a compliment.

American Pairs Best

Back to Sarajevo, this time with the Carruthers’ flawless LP. The program and music hold up pretty well, even in hindsight. But, it featured the (homemade?) costume he recently donned on NBC’s Vancouver “Figure Skating Review & Preview.” They have amazing attack and speed throughout, and their overall unison would have to be counted among some of the best we see even today. I don’t feel it suffers by comparison to V&V in “expression.” I sure miss these pairs’ elements: “hydrant lifts,” “lateral twist lifts,” and their penultimate move (“pulls”). It was also interesting to learn what a “Tango Camel” is. Their SP, to Herb Alpert/Muzak-style quasi-disco is a hoot, although well skated.

Watson & Oppegard’s Calgary LP features Peter’s hawt frosted doo (shades of Donna Mills in Knots Landing). His costume is also priceless. To think I had an outrageous crush on him, AND he was considered quite the on-ice heartthrob? On what planet does a straight man present this way? So hard to believe he is now married to Karen Kwan.

Tiger Beat Oppegard: Pensive Peter

Their triple twist has NO height…she practically completes it on the ground. And, I’m amazed they held onto the bronze with a fall. In the deep pair’s field in Vancouver this would NOT have medalled. Peter seems to acknowledge this here. Their warmth towards each other in the kiss-n-cry is touching, but don’t miss the glimpse of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader look-alike! Their latin disco SP (ala “Copacabana”) is a gay ol’ time, or gringe-worthy…depending on how you see it.

While we’re on the issue of falling in competition. Check out this amazing profile, featuring Sports Psychologist, Dr. David Coppel. Dr. David…any room on your white couch for head cases Sasha or Alissa?

The Final Countdown…5 Days!

BTW, if you’ve never sampled one of the finest pieces of musical fromage, The Final Countdown, by the Swedish rock band Europe, now is your chance. My former coworkers brought this little bit of happy into my life:

Yes, this song reached No. 1 in 25 countries, including the UK. WTF?

As most of you skating fans already know, the first big wallop was dealt to the Worlds line-up in the withdrawal of last year’s ice dance champions Delobel & Schoenfelder. Her should injury apparently didn’t heal quickly enough for them to compete.

Although they are among my favorites in the current crop of competitive ice dance teams, this certainly bodes well for the U.S. teams, further opening up the possibility of us having two teams on the podium. They will have to skate their best to achieve this, but it is possible.

This would be the first time since the 1966 Worlds, in Davos, Switzerland that two American ice dance teams would share the podium at Worlds, receiving the silver and bronze that year (and would be only the second time EVER!). This have never been achieved at any Olympics. So, my fingers are crossed for a repeat on this rare piece of Worlds’ history

With the withdrawal, I now predict that Davis & White will win the silver, and Belbin & Agosto the pewter (updating my previous prediction). Of course, I hope I’m wrong about B&A’s placement.

While ice dance is the focus, here’s my favorite team-of-all-time’s winning ’92 Olympic Free Dance. They had the perfect balance of technique, expression, restraint, creativity, elegance, beauty, and sensuality:

It is your last chance to enter my Worlds Podium Predictions Contest. FYI, your email address will NOT be used for any purpose, or distributed to any list, and will only be visible to me (not readers) via your username. This is ONLY for fun. Don’t miss out… voting ends March 20th.