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View Full Version : Why Tonya Harding Is The Greatest Skater Of All Time



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bardtoob
05-28-2010, 05:01 PM
Sure, you're right. I meant since Tonya there hasn't been a truly great jumper in the US. Perhaps Bobek had the potential, but if you think about it the US hasn't had the very best jumpers since Tonya Harding

Because everybody in the World outside the US was so inconsistent, Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipiniski were the best jumpers in the Worlds from 1995-1998, so the US did have the best jumpers . . . in between the inquisition of Chen Lu and the rise of Irina Slutskaya. However, sometimes it is hard to consider Michelle and Tara good jumpers because, like much of the skaters that came after Midori and Tonya, there technique was suspect.

Like Midori, Tonya would have been competitive today. Tonya was also ahead of her time. Although I am certain the USFSA was eager to erase any kind of special distinction for Tonya Harding, everybody knows that Kimmie Meisser's jumping could not have competed with Tonya Harding's jumping.

robinhood
05-28-2010, 05:12 PM
Tara and Michelle were really good jumpers, and the most consistent skaters. Chen Lu, sato, Kerrigan were excellent jumpers, too. I consider them to have really solid technique for the most part
But these skaters never had the jumping ability of an Arakawa, Bonaly, Onda, Ando, Asada, Slutskaya...even Sebestyen, Rechnio, Hubert or Gusmeroli as inconsistent as they were had superb jumping ability
Which was the last american skater that can compare to this skaters in terms of powerful jumps? I can only think of Tonya

screech
05-28-2010, 05:14 PM
Sure, you're right. I meant since Tonya there hasn't been a truly great jumper in the US. Perhaps Bobek had the potential, but if you think about it the US hasn't had the very best jumpers since Tonya Harding
Well, you could say Kimmie Meissner, since she had a 'ratified' triple axel at the 2005 Nationals... :lol:


Physical violence is wrong..

plus her career was really short compared to other skaters and she even changed sport to boxing..
Tonya's senior career, according to wikipedia, went from the 1986 Nationals where she came 6th at 15 years old through the 1994 O's where she was 23. She started winning medals on the Grand Prix circuit in the 86/87 season (still 15/16 years old). That's 9 seasons. Not too shabby.

And I don't think anyone here is condoning physical violence. We're just looking at her skating. Mistakes made off the ice have no bearing on someone's talent. Alexei Yagudin was kicked off a tour in 1998 for alcohol use (and was arrested for DUI in 2003) and Nobu got a DUI just a couple of years ago. They made the conscious choices to engage in behaviour that could hurt others. Does that mean we can't say that Nobu is outstanding and Alexei is among the greatest ever?

Maxim Staviski, well, we all know about what happened with him because of his drunk driving, which lead to worse than 'physical violence'. Does that mean we can't acknowledge his talent as a skater?

Ziggy
05-28-2010, 06:05 PM
Physical violence is wrong..

Somebody should have told Tonya's mother. :shuffle:

IceKween
05-28-2010, 06:20 PM
plus her career was really short compared to other skaters and she even changed sport to boxing..

Um, did you just start watching skating a couple of years ago? You clearly do not know anything about what you are talking about. Tonya Harding was winning Skate America LP's and SP's in *1986*, and winning internationals since then too until she (was) retired in 1994. Tonya was there long before Kristi Yamaguchi in seniors and long after. Who else sustained her level of skating for that many years? Go to Youtube and search for Tonya vids.
I mean really, you sound so ignorant. Sorry, but you do.

ETA: Screech, I posted before reading your post. Your are correct wrt Tonya's career. She really could have been a great.

museksk8r
05-28-2010, 09:21 PM
Which was the last american skater that can compare to this skaters in terms of powerful jumps? I can only think of Tonya

Nicole Bobek was capable of incredible amplitude and power on her jumps (videos from 1995 and 1997 showcase this best), but her technique was very suspect. Her Lutz attempts with the forward and short entry were so flutzed, commentators referred to the jump as a triple Bobek. Dick Button was once quoted on air saying that Nicole gets so much height on her jumps that she was only short of/behind Midori Ito in that aspect, and I've definitely seen video evidence that makes me agree with him. She was so spectacular to watch when she was healthy, well trained, and at her best physical shape. I recall at the 1995 Worlds LP, she actually over-rotated the 3toe end of her 3flutz+3toe attempt. Also, her split falling leaf+3toe from the 1997 Nationals LP gives the appearance that she's jumping into the rafters.

robinhood
05-28-2010, 10:09 PM
That's right museksk8r. i pointed earlier that Bobek had the potential to become one powerhouse jumper, but I think she falls in the category of the Gusmerolis, Hubert, Rechnios than the Arakawa, Slutkaya, Kim...
What I find hard to analyze is why it's taken the US so long since Tonya (or Bobek, if u like) to produce a jumper of this sort of caliber

Ziggy
05-29-2010, 01:47 AM
I can't think of any skaters competing today whose jumping technique is anywhere near Tonya's.

robinhood
05-29-2010, 02:05 AM
Joannie Rochette? Not comparable in terms of jumping ability (who is?) but her technique is top class

smarts1
05-29-2010, 02:55 AM
Nicole Bobek was capable of incredible amplitude and power on her jumps (videos from 1995 and 1997 showcase this best), but her technique was very suspect. Her Lutz attempts with the forward and short entry were so flutzed, commentators referred to the jump as a triple Bobek. Dick Button was once quoted on air saying that Nicole gets so much height on her jumps that she was only short of/behind Midori Ito in that aspect, and I've definitely seen video evidence that makes me agree with him. She was so spectacular to watch when she was healthy, well trained, and at her best physical shape. I recall at the 1995 Worlds LP, she actually over-rotated the 3toe end of her 3flutz+3toe attempt. Also, her split falling leaf+3toe from the 1997 Nationals LP gives the appearance that she's jumping into the rafters.

Well the only jump that was ugly from her was the loop.... But I wouldn't put Bobek in the same category as the greats of Tonya or Midori though, but she definitely goes in the great jumper category.

museksk8r
05-29-2010, 02:59 AM
Joannie Rochette? Not comparable in terms of jumping ability (who is?) but her technique is top class

So true! Her technique is superb! My favorite Rochette jump career highlights are her 3loop from the 2006 Olympics LP and all of her jumps minus the 1loop and the flawed 2Axel+2Axel sequence from the 2008 TEB LP. Her jumps were so big, crisp, and seemingly effortless in this performance to Concierto de Aranjuez. Her 3Lutz+2toe+2loop was so big, it appeared she was going to jump right over the boards and her 3toe+half loop+3Salchow in this LP was perhaps the best I've ever seen her perform that jump sequence. Also, the debut of her Samson + Delilah LP from the 2009 Japan Open featured some top class jumps that displayed graceful flow and power. I also love when she performs her big 2Axel landing in a spiral position in her SPs from 2008-2010. :cheer2::swoon::encore:

museksk8r
05-29-2010, 03:06 AM
Well the only jump that was ugly from her was the loop.... But I wouldn't put Bobek in the same category as the greats of Tonya or Midori though, but she definitely goes in the great jumper category.

Nicole was such a perplexing, unpredictable skater. For so many years, the 3loop was her nemesis in competition, doubling the jump in both her 1997 and 1998 Nationals LPs. It was also the jump that unraveled her in her quest to win the 1995 World title. Then, amazingly enough, at the 1998 Olympics, it was the only triple jump she landed in her LP. As a huge fan of her's, I was constantly :wall: at her inconsistency, but man, what an enormous talent she was! :swoon:

VIETgrlTerifa
05-29-2010, 03:16 AM
Michelle Kwan also admired Tonya's jumping ability. Pre-whack, Kwan would publicly state how much she wanted to jump like Tonya and do the Triple Axel. At 1994 Nationals, the network showed Kwan watching Tonya do a Triple Loop and Kwan was in awe.

I think Carroll and Kwan knew that she didn't have a natural spring to her jumps (in that Christine Brennan book, Carroll talked about Kwan's right thigh and how it was always the loop she was inconsistent with) and so she naturally admired the skater who seemed to have what she was lacking. However, Kwan's consistency on her jumps was incredible, even back then (especially compared to the likes of Kerrigan, Bobek, Ervin, etc.).

IceKween
05-29-2010, 03:45 AM
Also, the debut of her Samson + Delilah LP from the 2009 Japan Open featured some top class jumps that displayed graceful flow and power. I also love when she performs her big 2Axel landing in a spiral position in her SPs from 2008-2010. :cheer2::swoon::encore:

Her basics are strong, but I don't find anything all that amazing about her jumps. They are nowhere near Tonya's.

judgejudy27
05-29-2010, 04:10 AM
I wouldnt consider Bobek a great jumper at all, not even close. In fact now that her career is over I would grade her a mediocre jumper even with her spring. It takes far more than high jumps to be a great jumper, although that is an important attribute for me all the same. For starters other than her triple flutz-triple toe turnout at the 95 Worlds her technical difficulty in jumps was always minimal for a top skater. 5 triples planned, hardly ever both the triple flip or triple loop (one or the other), 1 triple flutz, 2 triple toes. Of course the triple toe in the short forever. Her technique on alot of her jumps was quite bad, the flutz was perhaps the worst in skating history even surpassing Hughes. Of course those rare times she landed it great the jump in the air and the flow coming out was breathtaking enough to compensate but of course with Nicole's those times were rare. All her toe jumps had flawed technique in fact. In large part because of this technique her jumping was wildly inconsistent. She had many more 1 or 2 triple programs than she did very good 4 or 5 triple ones (the best she ever managed was 5 as far as I know). She never had anything that could be remotedly described as a stellar jumping performance like Harding's better skates.

I loved Nicole's skating in many ways but she belongs nowhere near the great jumps category.