When it came to the technical merit score, with its necessary deductions for errors and falls, judges’ rankings were more or less objective; artistic impressions left a little more room for interpretation.
Despite its specific list of requirements—for musicality, use of the rink, deportment, and other qualities—“artistic impression” was a far more elastic score.
And perhaps, too, the judges had something to do with it.
Audience members weren’t the only ones who liked Nancy: the judges liked her, too, and had ways of showing it.
” Twenty years later, we are still trying to answer this question.
Audiences and commentators wanted elegance and grace; they wanted Nancy, and as good as Tonya was—as great as Tonya was—it had become painfully clear, over the last few years, that she would never quite be With Nancy out of sight, perhaps Tonya could for once remember all she was, rather than all she wasn’t, and deliver the skate of a lifetime.The camera zoomed in on her as closely as possible as she wailed, “Why? “I know there are a lot of people out there who think I’m a has-been,” she had told the press.“I have something to prove tonight.” Tonya still didn’t have her triple axel, but she landed a spectacular triple lutz.Her spiral sequence—the move Nancy was famous for—displayed more flexibility and grace than it ever had before.After turning up at too many competitions looking exhausted and out of shape, Tonya was dynamic and disciplined again, showing her strength in the deep edges that had wowed judges since she made her senior debut in the mid-᾽80s.