An unorthodox Olympics revisit (Part 3) - Salt Lake City

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In this revisit, we go back to the last Olympics where the 6.0 system was used. Because of the judging scandal here in Salt Lake City, the 6.0 system was completely scrapped in favor of the IJS, which would become the standard in 2005 after three seasons of transition. But judging scandals aside, Salt Lake City had a number of memorable performances that didn't medal.

What were YOUR favorite non-medal winning programs from 1998?

Sasha Cohen USA
2002 Olympics short program

It was a short program that captured the audience and put her in medal contention. Had she had more international clout (this was Cohen's first major championships on the senior level), she might have even won the short. But all of the top three in the short here had characteristics that set them apart. It was the stronger of her two programs that season, and she delivered it when it mattered most. Cohen would go on to finish fourth overall.

Takeshi Honda JPN
2002 Olympics short program

Much like Sasha Cohen, Takeshi Honda put himself on the podium in the short program but dropped off in the free. With this short, Honda (and Tim Goebel, who was third) spoiled what was expected to be a Plushenko-Yagudin combo at the top when Evgeni Plushenko fell on his quad to in the short program. Honda was the star for the Japanese men for the better part of the decade he was competing internationally, and this would be his shining moment at the Olympics. Honda ended up second in the short and fourth overall.

Kyoko Ina/John Zimmerman USA
2002 Olympics free skate

They were the pair that really took American pair skating to a different level. It was a shame that this free skate, perhaps the finest of their career, was overshadowed by the gold medal scandal that happened just an hour after. The originality that they showed in this program was really unmatched and underappreciated. But hey, you can still very much appreciate it. Ina/Zimmerman finished fifth in the free and fifth overall.

Fumie Suguri JPN
2002 Olympics free skate

Being in the second-to-last group always has its issues when it comes to visibility. In seventh after the short, Suguri just missed the final group by one placement, and so her brilliant comeback free skate was generally overlooked. This was vintage Suguri - big, airy jumps, incredible speed across the ice, with a minimalist style that suited her skating so well. She was fifth in the free and fifth overall.

Todd Eldredge USA
2002 Olympics free skate

He had to put that quad in - the man who was generally so consistent with everything else. But with this first quad revolution, he had no chance to win an Olympic medal without it. Ironically, he stayed on one foot on the quad toe in the short but fell on his triple axel, one of his best jumps. And so relegated to ninth, Eldredge had no chance for a medal. He fell on the quad toe here but hit eight clean triples to finish sixth overall. It wasn't the placement he wanted, but Eldredge ended his career on a high note.