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1968 Olympics: Peggy Fleming, Gabriele Seyfert, and Hana Maskova

Updated on August 23, 2015

Peggy Fleming in 1968

It may be a surprise for some of you. But Peggy Fleming felt nearly devastated after the free program, because it wasn't the kind of performance she wanted, especially for Olympic competition.

But Fleming's performance was in its own class compared to her peers.

Here let us reassess performances in the past with the current standards. Of course, when I say the current standards, I don't mean the ISU's current fraudulent practice of the COP, but the COP, untarnished.

Let's assume that a skater like Fleming performed that particular program today, then how many points will her performance earn today? Is it possible to do that? Yes, it is because jump is by and large an independent element although its quality cannot be completely separated from its compatibility with general performance.

One thing to remember when we apply the COP to old performances and calculate the average PCS is that we will also have to factor in the degree of competition, however marginal it may be.

Peggy Fleming: Queen of Ice

Here Fleming might have under-performed.

But Fleming was far ahead of her competitors. Her moves are all sparkling with maturity, accuracy, polishing, completeness, connectivity and musicality. Especially you can appreciate how lyrical she was in this performance compared to other competitors.

Lynn might have showed, if you compare Fleming's to Lynn's below, higher technical contents but Fleming was far superior in execution in all aspects. Lynn's program, though brilliant, was not a match to Fleming's in maturity. Especially the pulse she generated in her moves was timeless. The degree of completeness in her execution is simply breathtaking compared to her competitors.

Of course it is one of a kind skater's defining moment. It is the Great Peggy Fleming. With consideration of her competitors, this program qualifies her 9.0 - 9.5 in PCS.

Gabriele Seyfert in 1968

Seyfert was a skater with power and skill.

Although her skating appears less stylish than Fleming, her skating was rock solid in edge and body control. Her jumps are strong with good height and power.

Her jump has a few flaws such as kicking habit before takeoff and air position. But her skating itself qualifies her for 8.0 PCS if she performed today with triple jumps.

Her weakness lies in flexibility, stocky physiology, inaccuracy and incompleteness of jump technique. Her strong points are power and speed and her body control with momentum.

Schuba: Master of Compulsory

Schuba may not be a great jumper but she was a great champion in compulsory era.

Although Schuba fell here, she well demonstrates how to use edge with momentum. Her speed and her body control as she approaches to takeoff are impressive. Especially the trajectory of her upper body to ice was an example of how to skate with momentum.

Unfortunately today's skaters are not even capable of imitating this.

Her PCS is 7.0 here.

Now you may ask me if Gracie Gold would make such moves like Schuba. What do you think? If Gold forgets all about jump, will she be able to make such a move like Schuba? Based on the point I give to Gold, she should.

Hana Maskova in 1968

It's such a wonderful performance. Look how skaters in 1970s jump and skate!

Although accuracy may not be to the point, Maskova shows that she was in her own class. Her jump height and speed are kicking today's skaters' ass.

Only her airposition appears flawed due to the fact that back then, skaters tried to get around by not folding their arms tightly. But her skating and jumping ability are in a top notch in today's standards. Her PCS will be around 8.0 - 8.5.

I think in free skating Maskova shows better control in general skating than Serfert.

You may notice that skaters here never for a moment betray any physiological imbalance, the kind of eyesore found in today's Russian skating. They all knew how to integrate their arms' or legs' move into momentum.

Janet Lynn in 1968

Here Lynn ranked 9th in total while ranked 6th in free program.

I try not to put down the result, but yeah, hadn't I known this is Janet Lynn, or had I thought this was done by another senior skater, I would have ranked at least 3rd or fourth in free program.

In fact as you may plainly see, Lynn here flaunted the best technical contents with greater mastery than any other competitors.

Let us say it's her two two-footed double axels that held her back - I am trying hard to back up the official result. Even then, her mastery was too great to be easily dismissed. Of course there are several spots where she showed premature glitz. Her arms betrayed some immaturity and her execution seemed less coordinated than it could have been.

But this program shows clearly that she was the best among her competitors far and wide. Lynn's technical level was several steps ahead of the rest.

Lynn's PCS here is at least 8.0 or higher.

Who do you think should win silver in free program?

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