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Beatrix Schuba - Figure Skater Austria's Beatrix (Trixi) Schuba was singlehandedly responsible for changing the scoring rules of figure skating--because she was so boring. Schuba won the women's world championship in both 1971 and 1972 and the gold medal at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, Japan. At the time 'compulsory figures' (also known as 'school figures') counted for a huge percentage of a skater's score and gave the sport its name. These consisted of skaters tracing patterns along the ice. Schuba was totally dominant at this aspect of her sport, but she was only a mediocre performer in the free skate. At the 1972 world championships in Calgary, Schuba had such a commanding lead after the compulsory figures that all she needed to do to win was show up for the free skate. That's basically what Schuba did. She came on the ice and skated only for a few seconds--but it was good enough for gold. The goings-on did not sit well with television audiences nor with the crowd in Calgary who felt Canada's Karen Magnussen, an excellent free skater, had been robbed of the gold medal. The next year FIS added a short program to the championships to reduce the importance of the compulsory figures. Schuba opted to retire. Compulsory figures were discontinued altogether in 1990.
Tags: Beatrix  Schuba  figure  skating 
Added: 6th June 2010
Views: 3398
Rating:
Posted By: Lava1964
Posted by: eric1957 on 2010-06-07 
I remember at the '76 Olympics Dick Button had this computer printout of the school figure scores. It looked liked you had to be a literal rocket scientist to figure the darn thing out.
Posted by: Lava1964 on 2010-06-08 
School figures didn't make for very compelling television. Once TV money started calling the shots at major championships, school figures were doomed.

Perhaps the sport needs a new name.
Posted by: AngoraSox on 2010-07-16 
You've got that right Lava1964! But my hat's off to Trixi Schuba. How she pulled off perfect figures is beyond me (and everybody else). I'm a figure skater and remember being amused as a little girl watching the judges on their hands and knees, noses to the ice, examining school figures on TV.Later I came to respect school figures. The patterns cut into the ice are beautiful but the process is painstaking. And you're doing it (usually backwards) on a 3/16 inch thick blade---but those exercises really teach you to master your edges when you are free skating. I was ok at them, but what I really loved was the Zen state of mind doing school figures produced for me. I was transported to another, lovely world while doing them. What a wonderful surprise and experience that was!
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