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1995 Worlds: Chen Lu, Surya Bonaly, Nicole Bobek, and Michelle Kwan

Updated on February 12, 2015

Michelle Kwan in 1995

The beginning of Michelle Kwan's reign

Michelle Kwan, born in 1980, is a two-time Olympic medalist, a five-time World champion, and a nine-time U.S. champion.

Her 9 national titles are tied with Maribel Vinson-Owen's.

Kwan's career spans over a decade and she is the most decorated figure skater in U.S. history.

During her tenure, Kwan was America's most popular figure skater.

Michelle Kwan in 1995

Michelle Kwan: one of the greatest champions of all time

Although Kwan's speed and power might be a bit desired, her performance was good; that should have secured a medal for her.

The young Michelle was sharp looking.

Michelle ranked fourth overall, but to everybody, it's so obvious that this 14 year old kid would take over the figure skating world.

Chen Lu in 1995

Chen Lu was born in 1976, and won the 1994 and 1998 Olympic bronze medal and the 1995 Worlds.

Chen Lu became the first ever skater who won an Olympic medal in figure skating for China.

Immediately after Oksana Baiul's success many skaters tried to emulate Baiul, and Chen Lu was also one of them.

Though Lu's technical proficiency appears still much desired, Lu was capable of making the programs both expressive and meaningful in figure skating language.

Chen Lu in 1995

You may think "Is this a winning performance?" Especially if you are used to the 1980s, you will feel quite let down.

But what Lu did right about here is that she maintained her speed and flow throughout the program. That is, Lu was a skater who knew how to use her whole body and put her members in line with momentum.

That's why her skating appears smooth and balanced.

Nicole Bobek in 1995

Here again you see the influence of Baiul in the skating of Nicole Bobek.

Nicole Bobek was born in 1977. She won the 1995 U.S. National Championships and was the 1995 World bronze medalist.

While Bobek wasn't good at jump, she was particularly good at spiral, which impressed Dick Button and Peggy Fleming.

Bobek was an expressive skater and also could be classified as a power skater, but she didn't appear to possess much agility that other power skaters typically possess.

Nicole Bobek in 1995

A funny thing is Peggy Fleming couldn't find a compliment on the first jump for Bobek except saying, "It was not ordinary one, but very high."

One good thing about Bobek or any elite skaters of her contemporary is that they may lack of jump proficiency but they were still good at the basic.

At least Bobek's ability to handle spiral is admirable.

Surya Bonaly in 1995

Although Sandra Bezic said about the first jump "very nice", you don't have to take it literally.

In fact, it wasn't nice at all. Except she landed jumps, that is, she didn't fall, everything was a mess. You are looking at a "you never skate like that" example.

As Bezic's comment hinted, back then, technicality was understood by the number of landed jumps, and there was little emphasis on how they were done.

So Bezic's "quality vs. quantity" was an exaggerated understatement for courtesy.

Surya Bonaly in 1995

Who do you think is the winner of the 1995 Worlds?

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