Most Un-Improved: Distance 2011

Last time we looked at some skiers who made some big jumps on the WC circuit this past season, so now it’s time to look at some folks who saw big slides in the other direction. Since there are many different ways to measure performance, I’m using a combination several metrics. The methodology is the same as before, so you can go back to that post to read about the technical details.

I do want to remind you, though, that there are generally three ways your results can drop off: you could have fewer top results, you could have more bad results, or all of your results could generally drop.

Here are the twelve men and women (in order, left to right, top to bottom) who saw the largest declines last season over 2009-2010:

Don’t be fooled by these graphs, which show only one of the several metrics that went into this list. Their median result here (blue line) may not look like it dropped much, but that usually means some other measure showed a strong drop (fewer top results, etc.). Also, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve adjusted for the overall quality of the skier, so a drop from 5th to 10th is considered roughly equivalent to a drop from 20th to 40th.

George Grey had a career season in 2009-2010, so even an average season would be a drop-off as a follow-up. Piller Cottrer had a somewhat disappointing season, mainly via a drop in top results, so he seems to be popping the occasional great race less frequently. But the lower bound on his racing hasn’t really dropped much. Vincent Vittoz (who is retiring) was in a similar situation, where his worst/typical result hasn’t dropped off all that much, but he had many fewer really good races.

Toni Livers and Remo Fischer, on the other hand, saw most of their results fall off this season almost across the board.

Towards the end of this list, it may look like Johan Olsson and Axel Teichmann are sort of marginal inclusions on this list. But this is just one measure, and if you look closely, you’ll see that each of them had fewer results in the ‘good’ zone, below -1 or so. And if you just look at their results by rank, it’s fairly obvious that they struggled a bit this year. Olsson had 6 top ten results last year, but only three this year and all of those were 10th. Similarly, Teichmann had 10 top ten results last season, but only three this year (and one of those was a 10th).

Related posts:

  1. Most Improved: Distance 2011
  2. Most Improved: Men’s Sprint
  3. Most Improved: Women’s Distance
  4. Most Improved: Women’s Sprint
  5. Most Unimproved Women: Distance

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Comments

2 Responses to “Most Un-Improved: Distance 2011”
  1. Great stuff, again (and as usual). I’m surprised to see Petra on the women’s list, since she did win the sprint WC this year, but thinking about her season, I recall that she didn’t have many good distance races.

    Is it possible to correlate the most/least improved lists with athletes’ ages? No pattern jumps out at me, but some of the declining athletes were/are among the oldest on the circuit (Vittoz, Teichmann). Then again, some of the improving athletes were, too (Muranen).

    • Joran says:

      Re: Petra – Yeah, this methodology will specifically compare people to how they did last season. So for instance, it’s very likely that Bjørgen will make this list next year simply because it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to repeat such a dominant season. (Of course, maybe not…)

      I’ll go back and look at ages and see if anything pops out…

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