When the competition is over, many of the medal winners in the 1998 Winter Olympics celebrate their victories in a joyous spectacle on ice, free from the pressure of the judges. Hosted by Verne Lundquist, Scott Hamilton a... more »nd Tracy Wilson.« less
""The ladies competition was, I think, the greatest ladies event in the history of Olympic figure skating"--Scott Hamilton.This is the official figure skating home video from the XVIII Winter Olympic Games, held at White Ring, Nagano, Japan in 1998. It is a two tape set consisting of the figure skating competition (approximately 80 minutes) and the exhibition (approximately 60 minutes). It is hosted by Verne Lundquist, Scott Hamilton, and Tracy Wilson of CBS Sports.The competition tape begins with the ladies competition. Michelle Kwan comes into the competition as the favorite. She is the US ladies champion. Get this: she received 7 perfect marks for presentation at US Nationals a month earlier! Her main challenger is 15 year old Tara Lipinski, also from the US. The event is a two evening competition. On the first evening, Tara delivers a magical performance in the short program. Hamilton exclaims: "She looks so tiny, she skates with such maturity, she has the heart of a champion, and she's really had a great time enjoying her first Olympic experience! Perfect short program--Tara Lipinski!" Not to be outdone, Kwan delivers an even better performance that puts her into first place.The free skate is held two nights later, and Kwan skates first. She delivers a great performance. The only noticeable flaw is a mediocre triple flip, but her technical marks are lower than expected. Kwan is very emotional. Apparently, the judges are saving room for other skaters to best Kwan. Can she hold onto first place and take the gold back home to the US? Tara takes the ice. She will need a perfect performance to come from behind and pass Kwan. Tara skates to music from "The Rainbow." She hits every jump perfectly: double axel, triple flip, triple lutz / double toe loop combination, triple loop / triple loop combination. Let's pick up the call by Scott Hamilton with one minute left in her program: "Triple lutz here. Yes! One jumping pass left, and it's so difficult. Difficult for two reasons: (1) It's a triple / half loop / triple combination. [(2)] Difficult, because it comes at 3:56 in her long program. TRIPLE TOE LOOP, HALF LOOP, TRIPLE SALCHOW! SHE PULLS IT OFF WITH NO SPEED! " Tara ends her performance with a back camel spin. The crowd goes crazy and gives her a standing ovation; Tara celebrates wildly on the ice. Her program was more difficult than Kwan's, and she senses that she has won, but she will have to wait for the official marks. Here they come:AUS 1, HUN 1, AUT 1, GER 2, USA 2, RUS 1, UKR 1, POL 2, FRA 1.USA TARA LIPINSKI--IBM RESULTS: CURRENTLY 1ST.Tara goes crazy, jumping up and down in the kiss-and-cry box. She has just become the Olympic champion and gold medalist! It's a come from behind victory for the youngest Olympic figure skating champion ever!The other story which emerged was the contrast between their approaches to the event. Tara participated in the opening ceremonies, she made friends with athletes from other countries, and she attended other events. Kwan locked herself up in her hotel room to avoid all outside distractions. The commentators gloss over this very lightly. My "World Book" says that "the purpose of the Olympic Games is to let the great athletes of the world vie with each other in a spirit of peace and friendship." Think of the athlete with no hope of medaling, who trained long hours just to participate in the Olympic experience. Many such athletes came and competed according to the original ideals of the event. Kwan showed that she did not understand the friendship aspect of the games. On the other hand, Tara is to be commended for showing such a mature, sportswomanlike approach, despite her young age. I do not approve of the commentators' coverage of this aspect of the games, but the financial and patriotic motives behind the editing are easily surmised and understood.The competition tape contains the following: Women's Short Program--Kwan (complete), Lipinski (complete), Nicole Bobek (edited); Women's Free Skate--Kwan (complete), Lipinski (complete); Men's Short Program--Michael Weiss (edited), Todd Eldridge (edited); Men's Free Skate--Ilia Kulik (complete), Phillipe Candeloro (complete), Todd Eldridge (edited), Elvis Stoyko (edited); Pairs Short Program--Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen (edited); Pairs Free Skate--Mandy Woetzel and Ingo Steuer (edited), Yelena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze (edited), Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen (edited), Oksana Kazakova and Artur Dmitriev (complete); Original Dance--Punsalan and Swallow (edited); Free Dance--Marina Anassina and Gwendal Peizerat (edited), Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz (edited), Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov (edited), Pasha Grishuk and Yevgeny Platov (complete). (Note: the hosts discuss serious allegations that 5 of the judges were collaborating to pre-determine the results of the event, and that this had an effect on the rankings of the Canadian and US skaters.)The second tape contains the figure skating exhibition. It includes the complete exhibition performances by: Alexsei Yagudin, Michelle Kwan, Victor Kraatz and Shae-Lynn Bourne, Todd Eldridge, Anjelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsiannikov, Kyoko Ina and Jason Dungjen, Ilia Kulik, Maria Butyrskaya, and Tara Lipinski. See Yelena Berezhnaya do her trademark split on Anton Sikharulidze's back, as well as a flying split! Watch Oksana Kazakova do a throw Salchow (with all throw from Arthur Dmietriev and no jump at all from Kazakova. Wow! Now that's strength!) Finally, watch Phillipe Candeloro bring down the house with his showmanship!I have tried to be helpful in fully describing the contents of the two tapes; I've tried to capture some of the excitement of the women's event, and I've given serious commentary so far as my 1000 words will allow for, but if you want to appreciate the beauty and artistry of the events firsthand, then you will have to purchase the tape for yourself.This is a great competition and exhibition! All figure skating fans should own a copy of it."
Good video set with a few drawbacks
Sk8Fan | Washington State | 02/02/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoy all Olympic coverage and this was no different. On the competition tape, the complete programs of Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski are a good enough reason alone to buy this set. But there was a noticeable lack in the Ladies coverage by not showing Chen Lu's gorgeous "Butterfly Lovers" - her bronze medal-winning LP - after she overcame enormous odds just to appear in these Olympic Games. The Ladies coverage was disappointing and very USA-centric - none of the Ladies competitors from outside of the US were even mentioned much less shown. Also, since the majority of the programs on this tape are edited, the video comes across as rushed and choppy. What's there has been done well but seeing so many brief, edited clips of programs will leave the dedicated skating fan disappointed and wanting more. Overall the tape quality is great, very crisp and clear. And it will definitely bring the excitement of the games back to you! They've done as well as can be expected when fitting over 20 hours of televised Olympic skating coverage into 80 minutes. The exhibition tape is much better than the competition tape. All of the performances shown are uncut and it's extremely fun to watch. This is definitely the better tape in the set!"
Slow motion--forget about it!
Rick | 08/16/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Attention skaters: if you're buying this DVD because you think you'll be able to examine complex moves beautifully executed in slow motion, forget it! This DVD is encoded so that that "operation is prohibited." You can pause it, but that's it. (And no, it's not my DVD player; I have 2 players, both of which can go slow motion through other DVDs, but not with this one.)Moreover, I found the extra features that do exist, like the on-screen bios, more of an annoyance than an asset. More skating, less talk & fluff, if you please!That said, it might be worth buying for heartthrob Philippe Candeloro's swashbuckler routine."
An interesting competition, an average video production.
Rick | 12/26/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"We are big skating fans in our house, and we were glued to the TV for these '98 Olympic competitions, but this dvd production does not do it justice. The multi-angle feature is good, the picture and sound are naturally first rate, but the amount of content (lots of things are clipped or not shown at all) and the strange fact that one cannot observe the content in slow-motion nor pause the picture (! for a sports production? ) drops this dvd from being as good as it could have been. If the main performances are all you want, and the drawbacks do not put you off, you may genuinely enjoy this dvd. I expected a lot more."
Good show, but...
M. Soltys | PL | 10/17/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Well, it's overally good dvd, but as one of the reviewers wrote, you can only pause it during watching. I don't know who made such decision and why - there's really no point in it. But the good news is - if you have PC, it's very easily to overcome such minor annoyance - just copy all the stuff to your hardrive, and enjoy it to the fullest.
So my final scores are:
TV + standalone DVD: 2 stars
PC + internal DVD: 4 stars"