Monday, August 4, 2008

The Sokolovan Theory

Maybe you’ve already seen or heard about this interview with Russia’s Elena Sokolova… the primary point of interest being her firm belief she deserved to win 2003 Worlds over Michelle Kwan. To which I say Well, of course she did.

That’s not actually what I said first. The honor, instead, went to Sokolova was good enough to almost beat Kwan at some point? For I must admit, Sokolova doesn’t drum up much more than a handful of images for me: an asymmetric black unitard… unchanging haircut…very inconsistent runner-up to Slutskaya…strong on jumps (sometimes); weak on The Rest. Not a very strong impression, though I imagine some would disagree based on that unitard alone.

So in this “catching up with…” sort of interview, she speaks her mind. That’s the real story, as I see it. Not whether or not she has a point, be it about the programs themselves or the way they were judged. But that she opened her mouth in a very specific way. Sure, she stuck her foot in it too as far as I’m concerned. More difficult jumps or not, I tend to think the better overall SKATER won that day… and Sokolova winning silver was a wonderful achievement all by itself. But I do admire her honesty. Even if she can’t see the “complete package” for the triple-triple combos… and even if her frustration was perhaps amplified by the competition happening that year in the U.S. (Washington D.C. to be exact).

The real question, maybe… if the CoP had been in place in 2003, would the outcome be different? And what sort of mayhem might THAT have given way to?!

I could not find Sokolova’s free skate from 2003 for you… and I’m pretty sure I highlighted Kwan’s winning performance already… so the
Clip of the day is Sokolova’s SP instead from that year. It's no The Feeling Begins, but it's impressive nonetheless.


Aaron said...

I was wondering the exact same thing on the CoP and decided that Michelle would still win based on the fact that she'd rack up more points in the spins, that gorgeous spiral complete with change of edge (added levels!) and what would have to be considered no less than a level three footwork sequence. On top of that she hit some beautiful jumps and the transitions are marvelous. Just food for thought.

But in all fairness to Elena, I thought she skated really well and should be very proud of her achievement.

Tarot By Arwen said...

Saw your post on Shirley Jump's blog. I adore figure skating so I'm subscribing! :)

Kelli Lawrence said...

Welcome!! I'm glad you're here!