Okay, so my idea was that a modern figure skater fails to qualify for 2028 Olympics, but they demonstrate during the Nationals that they are also naturally sensitive to chrono-particles is transported into the past (1980s) to test out time travelling and timeline modifying equipment run by a nefarious organization for their political ends. The prove-positive test was that this skater would qualify, then win the Europeans, and even make the Olympics Team… in 1984. It creates all sorts of conflict.
Once I started digging the materials up, here is what shakes out.
- Yes, modern figure skaters are technically more enabled in terms of jumps than the skaters in the 1980s, let alone 1950s.
- The reasons are that they train younger, train harder, wear much more comfortable gear and amazing skates (the video on speed skating is AMAZING) and also undergo far more brutal body selection. Some of them are also second or third generations, like Ilya Malinin of US, who is a son of two champion single skaters (usually pairs or ice dancers marry) so he is basically bred for skating… but also, athletes tend to marry athletes and, for figure skating in particular, modern enlightened attitudes help, because kids who would earlier not be considered for sports b/c they are underweight or very small height due to health reasons, can find themselves in figure skating.
That’s said–and I am sure it might be true to gymnastics as well–a modern figure skater is not going to wipe the board with competition in 1980s or 1950s.
Because a judged sport evolves and takes into account what most athletes deliver. And those who do what the most can do BEST are the champions.
In 1980s and prior, figure skating competitions started with COMPULSORY FIGURES, which modern skaters do not compete in. It’s actually the opposite of what modern skating is about. It’s low speed and inane, with skaters circling on left leg, then repeating it on the right leg, when judges stand in a tight circle and judge the precision of the blade control. And it gave so much marks, that short and free didn’t matter. Since it was so boring, it wasn’t televised even then, so it created confusion. Athletes with awesome shorts and free lost to those who looked like nothing special. But they came into the short with a SHWHACK of points for stellar blade control in CF.
Modern skater might not even get to their short or free program because of it. And even if they did, before the onset of 2006 judging system, nobody cared about quality of the jump (pre-rotation, under-rotation) which the scoring is now obsessed over. Back then they wouldn’t even register quad jump likely. It might even be invalidated if it’s not in the rule book.
So, suddenly, the modern figure skater goes and says, Hey, I can do quad jumps! And the judges are like, Huh? Nice, we guess? We’re giving top marks for spirals and how the program makes us feel…
For us, they are superwomen. For 1980s they are not.
If you want to do this about gymnasts, you can’t just take hype without talking to those who deeply understand the history of the sport. In most cases moderns would lose out, since they are NOT trained to do things contemporary to the field.