Ladies singles hardest discipline to pick a greatest ever

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by judgejudy27, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    Fair enough. I guess we will have to wait many years to see if this 2-3A-in-a-program is transient hype or something worthwhile. You have a point in saying that 3A is still something of a novelty in ladies skating; that may or may not change in 20 years' time. If 3A had not become such a norm in men's competition and we didn't have more difficult jumps and combinations landed, we just may still be talking about Orser's 1987 World Free Program-we will never know.

    I pretty much see your point regarding Ito vs. Arakawa vs. Asada, though still hesitate to put Asada firmly in front of Arakawa. Sure, in terms of official career statistics, Asada surpassed Ito by virtue of an extra World Title, given same Olympic performance (though I have more respect for Ito for actually pushing the technical boundary of ladies skating), but when you compare with Arakawa-well, Olympic Gold is Olympic Gold. It's not like that Arakawa was a random contender that was on no one's radar in 2006, and she does have her own World Title, in one of the better World-Championship-Winning performances of the decade. If Asada wins one or two more Worlds and another medal in Sochi (regardless of colour), I will place her as being more successful than Arakawa competitively, but for now, I will give it a tie, with tie-breaker going to Arakawa for OGM. But you have every right to disagree with me...with consistency and all.
     
  2. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I think though it would also be a mistake to build Shizuka's career up too highly based on the 2 huge wins. Yes she has won an Olympic Gold and World title. She also has no other top 7 finishes in Worlds or Olympics in a decade long international career. In fact she failed to qualify for her own World or Olympic team almost 50% of the time. She has won only 1 Grand Prix event and qualified for the Grand Prix final only 3 times with finishes of 4th, 3rd, and 2nd. She has 6 total internationals wins including her Olympic and World titles, 3 of those coming at Nebelhorn, Winter Universiade, and the Asian Winter Games.

    Of course because of those 2 huge wins she has had a great career and they take her career to a whole stratosphere different than what her career would have been without them. However I would never rate her actual career above Mao's at this point, even without Mao having the Olympic Gold. Mao's 2 Worlds titles plus the Olympic silver already are quite close to Shizuka's 1 World and 1 Olympic Gold. I wouldnt say a World gold and Olympic silver, two outstanding achievements combined is much less value than 1 Olympic Gold on its own. And beyond that the rest of Mao's career puts Shizuka in the dust.

    As comparing to which is the better skater that is subjective of course. I can understand how some would still consider Shizuka the better skater of the two. However in no way IMO has Shizuka had the better overall career even if Mao retired today. If I were a skater I would never rather have Shizuka's career than Mao's, even with Shizuka having the Olympic Gold and Mao not.
     
  3. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    The only Japanese skaters included in the USFAS "greatest skater" poll were Midori and Mao. I know a "greatest ever" poll voted by facebook users is silly but I think they were generally right with their initial selection of skaters. The inclusion of Lysacek did puzzle me though. :confused:
     
  4. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    No kidding! One great season (2009 Worlds - 2010 Olympics = 1 year) doesn't make one a "greatest ever." Then again, the USFSA has always had a love affair with Evan Lysacek whether he deserves it or not, much like Sasha Cohen.
     
  5. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    They didn't include Sasha Cohen though, which actually surprised me considering how much love she receives from USFSA. Also, I do think Sasha has more influence on younger skaters than Evan does. Evan has the major medals over Sasha but so did Tara (World title plus OGM) but she was left out too. I don't know. Maybe they just included him so that they can pit him against Plushenko in the first round since that will attract more attention.;)
     
  6. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Evan will never be a top 10 skater of all time let alone the greatest ever. The same is true of Sasha Cohen though IMO. Both have what the other lacks. Sasha has special qualities and is memorable but isnt stable, technically solid or able to win. Even is stable, technically solid, and able to win with no special qualities and is not memorable.
     
  7. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    That's what makes Michelle so special to me. She possessed both memorable qualities and competitive toughness. :)
     
  8. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    First of all, it's spelled Henie, not Henjie. And she did more to popularize figure skating in the US than any other skater, and she did it with only her films and her touring ice show. She didn't have the Internet or TV such as Wide World of Sports broadcasts to issist her in popularizing the sport.

    And you are familiar with the definition of "prehistoric" aren't you?
     
  9. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    Each to his/her own about the preferred career. I never said my POV was the absolutely correct one. But let me just say that Michelle Kwan and Mao Asada might disagree with your perspective. I agree that Arakawa was inconsistent during her career and much of reputation rest upon her two great wins. However, if Asada was to retire right now, my instinct tells me she might not be remembered in 30 years time as the undisputedly most successful Japanese skater up to 2010. Unless you are a well-learned skating fan, most you would know is that Arakawa won 1 Olympic Gold and 1 World title while Asada won 1 Olympic Silver and 2 World titles. It's analogous to the situation that Torvill/Dean is remembered by sports fan (not figure fans in particular!) for their immortal performance in Sarajevo, and they most often couldn't care less about their 4 World titles, let alone numerous Euros, etc.

    Btw, not to nitpick, but 2009 Worlds and 2010 Olympics were in different seasons. Seeing that these two events were the most prestigious events in two different seasons, I would beg to differ that Lysacek dominated over only one year, though Lysacek wouldn't be in my list of male skating legends-yet. And I agree with many users here that it's impossible to pick the greatest skater of all time-USFA poll ended up being little more than a showdown of facebook fan clubs-as the technique, competitions, competitors and physical demand is just not comparable.
     
  10. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    BUTT Lysacek was only 3rd at '08 Skate America, 3rd at '08 Skate Canada, didn't qualify for the '08/'09 GPF, was only 3rd at '09 US Nationals, and was 2nd at the '09 4CC. He didn't win a competition in the 2009 season until Worlds, so no, he wasn't dominant that season. That's the point I was making. He was only dominant for 1 year (March 2009 - February 2010).
     
  11. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    Okay...then who would you say was dominant in men's competition that year?
     
  12. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    There really wasn't ONE dominant man in the 2008-2009 season. Patrick Chan had 4 wins (2 in the GP, the Canadian title, and the 4CC title) and World silver. Jeremy Abbott had 3 wins (1 in the GP, the GPF title, and the US title). Brian Joubert had 2 wins (1 in the GP and the European title) and World bronze. No one really owned that season in the mens' discipline. I remember going into 2009 Worlds, most everyone thought Patrick Chan would win.
     
  13. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    Fair enough, I will give you that. Not that we were really in disagreement regarding Lysacek's legacy in figure history thus far.
     
  14. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Michelle Kwan for sure would never trade her career for Shizuka's, I would bet a house on that inspite of how much Kwan wanted the Olympic Gold Shizuka has. Mao I still doubt would either, but only she would know for sure and is less certain than Kwan, but Mao is likely to achieve even more anyway.

    I think even a casual skating fan would know Mao was one of the 2 dominant skaters in the World for 4 or 5 years already, and Shizuka was a virtual nobody most of her career but had 2 big wins at her late career peak.

    I think they are remembered for Sarajevo since it was their most historical program of all their many historical programs. They are also remembered for having quite a few historical programs that reached a level of perection shown in the scores attained by no other dancer.
     
  15. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    There was most definitely no dominant skater of the 2008-2009 season. The guy won won the Grand Prix final, U.S Nationals, and one other grand prix event, wasnt even top 10 at Worlds. The guy who won the most events of anyone was 2nd at Worlds and last at the Grand Prix final. The most consistent skater of the season won nothing other than Europeans and was 3rd at Worlds. And the World Champion didnt even make the Grand Prix final, was 3rd at his own Nationals, and didnt win any event until Worlds.

    If forced to pick one I would pick Chan though since he won quite a few events and was 2nd at Worlds. Still there was no dominant skater of that season, and it certainly wasnt Evan although he won the biggest and most important event of the season so ended it the happiest most likely.
     
  16. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    As to what career Kwan and Asada might prefer, of course I don't know what answer they would give if they were to be asked that question straight out. I am going by their action following their Olympic campaigns and what they are reputed to have said. I believe there is a consensus that one of the reasons Kwan continued after Salt Lake City was so that she wanted that OGM that came so close to her twice already, and that it is likely that she would have retired had she won Gold in either Nagano or SLC. I'm not saying that's the only reason, but that is likely to have been a factor. I won't claim that she would have retired if she won in Nagano, given her age, competitive fire and talent, she may very well have stayed on til SLC regardless. Her body language when she was congratulating Evan Lysacek on his Vancouver win was also suggestive if you ask me. And there is ever-circulating stories about how she allegedly say that she would have swapped all of her World Gold medals for an Olympic Gold if she could.

    I hope you don't think I am trying to equate Arakawa's career with Kwan's or anything like that. In terms of legacy to modern figure skating, Kwan's legacy is a mountain that few can dare to climb. Certainly I will want to be remembered with Kwan's career than Arakawa's, but I'm just pointing out that the latter have the one thing that the former always wanted.

    As for Asada, she is reported to have said on Japanese media (sorry, but can't find quotes) that she considers her Olympic Silver Medal to have been a greater achievement than her World titles (not sure if she meant one or both of them). If Asada considers OSM>World Gold, since OGM>>>OSM in career achievement, it is plausible to propose that from Asada's POV, she hasn't as yet surpassed Shizuka's career achievement. Her decision to commit to another 4 years of competition almost straight after Olympics can only be explained by desire of that OGM-do you think she would have taken that decision with such a haste if she won in Vancouver? I'm not saying she would have quit-think she would have gone on for a year or two at the least given 2011 World is to be on her country-but she wouldn't have taken decision straight away.

    By the way, don't you think it's unfair to take into consideration what Asada MIGHT achieve in future? I already said my assessment of Arakawa vs. Asada will change depending on the latter's future achievements, but I think we should only take the past achievements when comparing career statistics, etc.

    Now you said that Asada was dominant (or co-dominant at the least) for four or five years, while Arakawa was virtual no-body until her peak late in her career. I wonder how you made it 5 years given she was ineligible for senior International Championships. Let's see how Asada really fared during major competitions (I'm just using official statistics of placement, not taking any POV about the appropriateness of placement into account). For the brevity, I will restrict it to International Championships and Grand Prix Final.
    2005/2006 (Half-Junior, Half-Senior): 1st GPF, 2nd Junior Worlds
    2006/2007: 2nd Worlds, 2nd GPF
    2007/2008: 1st Worlds, 2nd GPF, 1st 4CC
    2008/2009: 4th Worlds, 1st GPF, 3rd 4CC
    2009/2010: 2nd Olympics, 1st Worlds, N/A GPF (failed to qualify, 9th in ranking), 1st 4CC

    From this statistics, I believe that Asada's only legitimate claim to dominance is in 2007/2008 season. In 2006/2007, she failed to win any major title (Miki Ando won Worlds and Yu-Na Kim won GPF). In 2008/2009, she won GPF, but failed to make the podium in the Worlds. In the last season, she did win the Worlds, but Olympics was the biggest competition of the season (and quadrennial) and she failed to make the GPF, not winning either of her events.

    If I make the similar list for other ladies who won any major international competition (there are only three: Miki Ando, Yu-Na Kim, Kimmie Meissner), I will classify each season in the following manner, not taking the appropriateness of placings into consideration:
    2006/2007: Tie between Ando and Kim (I know Worlds>GPF, but Kim also beat Ando in GP event of Paris)
    2007/2008: Asada
    2008/2009: Kim
    2009/2010: Kim

    Also, given her specific placements and margin of scores in the events that she did win, it's hard to claim that Asada was dominant in those particular events. In 2008 and 2010 Worlds, she failed to win any of 4 segments, and was helped to an extent by the inconsistency of her competitors. The margin of victory were less than 1 point in 2008 and about 7 points in 2010. I wouldn't call those statistics marks of dominance.

    I'm not trying to argue that Arakawa was dominant during significant portion of career. I'm just saying that if you are going to make consistent dominance a criteria, might as well get all the facts out. I recognise that her career statistics was dominant in 2007/2008, but would hesitate to name her as being even co-dominant in other seasons, given her finishes, placement in segments and margin of scores.
     
  17. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Shizuka had no wins other than the big ones at the end during the years she won her major titles. And the year after she won her world title, she didn't just fall short of the podium, she fell to 9th. Moreover, she was majorly helped by the inconsistencies of her competitors. She was the surprise winner both times when she won. The expectations were all weighed on either Irina or Sasha. If those two skated clean, Shizuka wouldn't have a chance. During her first two senior years, Mao was always one of the two skaters to beat going into the competition. She was the skater to beat in 2006-2007 season posing the highest combined record up to the point at NHK. I don't remember Shizuka ever been the position as the skater to beat. Judgejudy said Mao has remained one of the top skaters during the four years. On the other hand, Shizuka has been on and off the radar during her career. If you're talking about her actual competitive record besides the OGM, it can be argued that Miki had a more consistent career. I don't even think Shizuka herself would say she had the better career. ;) She's a good skater but one who has had a lot of luck.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  18. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    If Mao were to say that she would just be going out of her way to be humble. I would be amazed if Mao considers Shizuka's career better than her own at this point. I still say an Olympic silver and 2 World titles combined is fairly equal to an Olympic gold and 1 World title, and the remainder of Mao's career leaves Shizuka's in the dust. Many aspects of Shizuka's career are frankly embarassing for a World Champion, let alone an Olympic winner. I doubt there is hardly anyone who would give up an additional World title, an additional World silver as well, 2 Grand Prix final titles, multiple Four Continents titles, multiple other international wins, medals, National titles, and also now be saddled with so many poor showings as there are on Shizuka's resume just to change what is already still an Olympic silver to a gold. That is what I would call giving the Olympic Gold, despite it being the biggest prize in skating, too much prestige. Not to mention Mao had to miss an Olympics and Worlds she had a good chance of winning due to the age eligibilty rule, probably good luck for Shizuka who was 0-3 vs a 16 year old Mao that year.

    It could be said Shizuka's Olympic Gold and World title combined is enough to raise her career over say Sasha Cohen's (despite that Sasha was beating her 95% of the time, just not the 2 times that mattered so much). And certainly beyond her countrywomen Fumie Suguri who in fact otherwise would have even had a far superior career. To say they elevate her career above say Mao or Slutskaya (who like Mao has 2 World titles but no Olympic Gold) would be far too much though.


    I am not downplaying that the OGM is the biggest achievement in figure skating and no doubt Mao like all great skaters wants it badly. It just isnt the be all and end all which elevates skaters like Shizuka, Hughes, Baiul, or even Lipinski above ones with far more successful overall careers.


    No what I said is she was clearly one of the 2 or 3 dominant skaters for 5 years. In the 2005-2006 season she proved she was clearly one of the best inspite of not competing at the Olympics and Worlds by going a combined 5-1 vs Slutskaya, Cohen, and Arakawa, and by winning the Grand Prix final by easily beating OGM favorite Slutskaya. In the 2006-2007 season Asada, Kim, and Ando all shared dominance to a degree. The 2007-2008 season was all about Mao and Kim. I still say Mao was atleast a top 3 skater of the 2008-2009 season. Miki deservedly medaled at Worlds but had done virtually nothing before that point. Mao was the only one to beat Kim that season and did it to win the Grand Prix final. And the 2009-2010 season was obviously all about Kim and Asada in the end inspite of a slow start for Mao.

    Shizuka was not even a top 6 or 7 skater in the World any season other than her World title season in 2004 and her Olympic Gold season in 2006. Heck after making an Olympic and World team at 16 she arguably wasnt even a top 20 skater in the World the next 4 seasons aged 17 to 20 as she plodded around the international circuit with no success at all other than a silver behind Jenny Kirk at the depleted Four Continents event in 02, and every single Japanese World or Olympic team often in favor of someone who finished well outside the top 10. And even in those 2 glory years in 2004 Shizuka failed to win any event, including her own Nationals where she was 3rd, until winning Worlds to end the season. And she failed to even qualify for the Grand Prix final (albeit like Mao in 2010) in 2006. And those were here 2 best seasons ever! Even in the year Shizuka won Worlds she began the year finishing behind Jenny Kirk yet again in her first event of the season at Skate America.

    There just is no comparision in their degree of dominance. I didnt imply Mao dominates womens skating like Witt did but the extent she is one of its dominant skaters over the years is on a whole other plane than Shizuka who was in fact a journeywomen almost her whole career.


    Shizuka was 3rd in the short program when she won the Olympics. She was beaten handily in the short program at the Worlds she won by Cohen, and she barely won the long program. Despite the skate of her life with 2 triple-triples Kwan with a doubled triple lutz and no triple-triple tries took 4 of 9 counting judges off her, and a sloppy and off form Cohen took 3 of 9. Shizuka has never won the short program at a major event, just like Mao. And many felt Shizuka was majorly held up in the short program of both the 2004 Worlds and 2006 Olympics, and if she hadnt been scored as closely to the leaders as she was, closer than many felt she deserved, she would have a had a harder time winning. And most people consider it bogus that Mao did not win the short program at the 2008 Worlds and the long program at the 2010 Worlds at the very least, there are some who even felt she deserved to win all 4 programs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  19. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Mao won the SP at 2005 and 2006 GPF. And yes I still think she deserved to win the SP over Costner in 2008. I do remember reading somewhere (maybe it was from Sonia Bianchetti's post worlds article) that some judges from the panel that night even disagreed with the final results for the SP. Here's the article http://www.soniabianchetti.com/writings_scandinavium.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  20. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    Kostner stepped out of her triple lutz and still beat Mao who skated cleanly (no downgrades on jumps, etc..). Mao was hurt by alot of low levels by the technical specialist on her non jump elements.
     
  21. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    I guess the only good thing to come out of that is that it forced Mao to hit the levels in her non-jump elements. She rarely misses hitting those levels now in competitions. Still, I think that was a case where little things makes the panel overlook the overall impressions of the program.
     
  22. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    I wonder if either of you actually read the last paragraph of my last post: I said I recognise that Arakawa wasn't really dominant for any significant portion of her career. No need to point that out, that's not disputed, though I can't resist mentioning though that in both of her major win, Arakawa managed to win Free Program. Asada on the other hand camd second in both SP and FS of both 2008 and 2010 Worlds.

    The point I'm making is that the statistics of Asada's events make it difficult to uphold the claim that she was dominant in any period other than 2007/2008. I don't know where you get your definition of dominance, but not winning any major title (i.e. 2006/2007) or losing majority of major events, including the biggest fish of the season (2008/2009, 2009/2010) doesn't count as dominant if you ask me. If you were to say Asada was one of the 2 or 3 (or any other number) top lady skater, I will agree with you, but dominance? I don't think so.

    I will come back in about 18 hours and answer any objections if the conversation hasn't moved along too much. My apologies for not providing immediate answers to your current and any potential counter-arguments.
     
  23. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    Actually, I don't understand the point you're trying to make now. No one was saying Mao was THE dominant one in those years you mentioned. I thought the original discussion was on whether Mao has had a better career than Shizuka did and based on statistics provided by Judy, she clearly does. You yourself agree that she one of the top 2 or 3 ladies throughout her competitive career. I can't say the same for Shizuka. Unless, you're someone who thinks the only two highlights in Shizuka's career including achieving the OGM is enough to elevate a skater about others who has had far more consistent records. If that's the case, then there's nothing left for me to say other than the fact we have Very different opinions on how to evaluate an athlete's career.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  24. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

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    I just saw it b4 turning computer off, promise this is the last post you will have from me for a few hours. The point is that just as Arakawa can't claim to have been dominant over multiple seasoons, neiter can Asada, except for 2007/2008.

    As for whether I think OGM cover up for lack of consistency-yes, to an extent. I wouldn't presume to speculate on exchange rate, but do believe that OGM is worth more than a world gold medal, and I'm quite sure you would too. Why, Asada allegedly said she considers Olympic Silver to be a better achievement than her World Gold, though I'm not sure if she meant one-to-one, or both of her World Golds. (just have to get the link...).

    I will address some of the points you, Judy (and anyone else who may contribute) have raised in the last few posts when I come back in a few hours.

    P.S. What's the statistics Judy provided that you're referring to?
     
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    You just arent getting it. We are not saying Mao was THE dominant skater of her time. If one had to pick one that would be Kim probably, though not completely clear cut mainly due to Mao. We are saying is Mao has been one of the 2 or 3 (usually 2) dominant skaters of the last 5 seasons now though. Meaning she is clearly and far and away one of the best 2 or 3. She almost never is off the podium or even below 2nd in any major event (the only time she was, was a 4th at the 2009 Worlds and a 3rd at the 2009 Four Continents). She wins atleast one major event every season (2006 Grand Prix final, 2008 Worlds, 2009 Grand Prix final, 2010 Worlds).

    And we are contrasting that to Shizuka who except for 2 seasons was not even a top 7 skater for the season. We are saying relatively speaking Mao is a far far more dominant force in her own time than Shizuka, not that she actually is the dominant skater of her time. We are comparing someone who was almost always clearly one of the 2 best to someone who was almost never one of the 7 or 8 best.


    If you want to compare their careers:

    Dominance- Mao by a huge margin
    Consistency- Mao by a huge margin
    # of Titles- Mao by a huge margin
    Medals- Mao by alot
    Worlds success- Mao by a huge margin
    Grand Prix success- Mao by alot
    Nationals success- Mao by alot
    Success vs main rivals- Mao by alot
    Longevity- considering Shizuka's international career was dead in the water for 4 years until 2003, even here Mao already

    Shizuka's one and only edge is the Olympic Gold medal in an Olympics Mao was kept out of due to being underaged in a year she had a 3-0 head to head with Shizuka, and Mao still has an Olympic silver.


    To rank Shizuka over Mao is to overcredit the Olympic Gold on its own to ridiculous proportions.

    I am done with this as I dont want to sound like a Shizuka basher. I actually like her skating quite alot, but Mao has already had the better career hands down. Discussing which one thinks is the better skater might be interesting, but who overall had the more success is a no contest even with Shizuka's Olympic Gold and 1 World title to go with it.
     
  26. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    However an Olympic silver and World gold combined should count for about the same as an Olympic Gold. That is the two next biggest achievements possible combined as opposed to the one biggest achievement on its own. To not consider those two things combined to equal the Olympic Gold on its own is to elevate the Olympic Gold to a place beyond where it should be IMO. To say the next 2 biggest achivements combined equal only 1 Olympic Gold is already giving it huge respect, basically saying it alone is worth double the next biggest achievement already. And of course we can do that and still be left with one remaining World title for Asada (because she has 2 to begin with) to cancel out Shizuka's one World title.

    And then we look at everything else and it is now Mao's world silver, 2 Grand Prix final golds, 2 Grand Prix final silvers, 5 grand prix event wins, Four Continents titles, and all her other achievements vs Shizuka's silver and bronze at the Grand Prix final, lone grand prix event win, 13th place finish at the 98 Olympics, 8th place finish at the 2003 Worlds, well you get the picture.
     
  27. miki88

    miki88 New Member

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    I agree with everything you said Judy. But Mao actually won 2005 and 2008 GPF. Now looking at it, 2006-2007 season is the only one she went without earning a major title even though she broke records during that season. This discussion just makes me feel even sadder that Mao wasn't allowed to compete in 2006. Based on her record in the GP series, Mao tied Irina with two wins each with Mao winning the final. If she were allowed to go, she could have been a co-favorite for the gold.
     
  28. neptune

    neptune Well-Known Member

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    Well, one big difference is that Kristi's domination in the amateur ranks was very short--in fact, really only the first part of '92. True, she did win '91 Worlds, but that was her only big win that year. Of course, I have little doubt that Kristi could have dominated for several more years, but we'll never know that for sure.

    Probably?? ;)

    Almost too high-risk. I think the triple axel was both a blessing and a curse for Tonya. It helped propel her to fame in '91, but then her failure to keep landing it kind of led to her undoing later on. I wonder why Midori was more consistent with it than Tonya? I also wonder if Tonya might not have been better off getting a reliable triple-triple than focusing so hard on the triple axel. Then again, naybe her percentage wouldn't have been much different either way.

    Yes, Michelle's jumps were bigger. But to me there were a couple of things that set Kristi apart: 1) Unlike Katarina and Michelle, Kristi never watered down her programs IIRC, not even in the pro ranks. She always seemed to go for everything, even if she sometimes missed. Whether or not one likes her skating, it's hard not to admire her gutsiness. 2) Kristi's artistry, while not particularly profound IMO, never seemed arty or forced to me. It always came across as natural. OTOH, at least in her early years, Michelle's artistry usually seemed rather pretentious and manufactured to me, as if she were consciously thinking every time she stepped onto the ice, "I'm here to make an artistic statement." I suppose part of the reason might be that Kristi was 4 years older (almost 20) when she won her first world title, so she really had no need to try to act matoor. Michelle did have more interesting programs, though--at least early on.
     
  29. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    23
    Okay, I'm back, and I will try to reply to some of the points that you guys raised.

    First of all, we can't go and speculate on whether Asada may or may not have won the Worlds and Olympics in 2006-that leaves too many variables including the facts that she never skated at either events previously and that she ended up not being able to defend her Junior Worlds Title anyway. Worlds and Olympics come with pressure that if you ask me are quite different from Grand Prix Series. As it turned out, Asada didn't win her first Worlds campaign in 2007. I'm not saying she wouldn't have won 2006 titles (no one knows how things might have played out), but to say she had a good chance is nothing more than speculation. Let's not forget that 2005 GPF was held in Asada's homeground too. You can think of whatever excuses that might serve, but I wouldn't call someone who didn't get to EITHER Olympics or Worlds for whatever reason in 2006 dominant or one of the best, or anything...unless you are going to confer equal prestige to GPF that is given to Olympics or Worlds?

    As to the quadrennial that has just ended, I do not know where you get the idea of Asada being dominant (or co-dominant) in 2006/2007. She didn't win any of the major titles (unless you're going to call Grand Prix events as being major titles) and frankly had strings of second finishes. If you are going to call her even co-dominant in that year, why, we can give the similar distinction to Elizabeth Manley regarding 1987/1988 season-she ended up winning silver in both Olympics and Worlds. I think we have to distinguish between being dominant and being one of the top ladies.

    No comment on 2007/2008, other than to say that Asada was quite dominant in terms of statistics in that season, and that probably was her best season thus far. Regarding 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, yes, Asada beat Kim one of three times in both seasons. But she lost the biggest fish in both seasons, lost to Kim with large margins when she lostwhile won by significantly smaller margins when she won. Not to mention that she got thrown off the podium occasionally end failed to qualify for 2009 GPF. In fact, Asada lost not just to Kim but also to Joannie Rochette quite frequently in 2008/2009. With all this in mind, I wonder how you are going to explain that Asada was dominant during the quadrennial-"being at or near the top" sounds more accurate if you ask me. We may have to disagree on this particular point, but in my books, you can only have one dominant person or multiple co-domiant persons, but only if no one has an obvious upper hand. I don't think that's what we can say regarding Asada's career for many of her seasons.

    Also, what you are saying about "many people" thinking Arakawa's placing in 2004 and 2006 bogus and about Asada's failure to win any segments in either of her World Title wins being questionable are nothing more than speculation. If I play devil's advocate along that path, I can also question Asada's 2008 World Free score given that scary fall and the lack of choreography for 15 seconds thereafter, and by extension the world title itself. However, knowing what kind of hell-gate it will open, I won't. I am simply making the point that you can't use use speculation to back up your claim about career statistics-how many Olympic titles do you think will change hands if we leave it to popular vote?

    You think I am over-valuing Olympic gold in the context of achievement. Again we may have to disagree, but that are the names that has any decent chance of being remembered in posterity unless you're particularly a figure skating fan and not general sports fan or disinterested public. Not many (even figure fans) remember likes of Emmerich Danzer or Lily Kronberger despite remembering their contemporaries with Olympic Gold-it's not just about them being from several generations ago, if you ask me. Personally therefore I stick to higher exchange rate of Olympic Gold vs. World Gold, but each to his/her own, and that's not a significant point in discussion.

    Final point in this first series of reply: you seem to be thinking that I think Arakawa had some mythical period of dominance that was longer than Asada. That's not what I'm saying. Arakawa didn't have significant porition of period being THE dominant skater, but Asada doesn't have much to show for it other other than 2007/2008. If you are going to argue that Asada had longer period in which she stayed at or near the top than Arakawa, that's one thing, but saying she was the dominant skater is quite another. Also, many casual fans or vaguely interested members of the public will judge the dominance by who wins the World Championships (Olympics in Olympic years). Of course that's not as simple as that, but that's the impression that most people will have in decades time unless you research individual careers methodically. Does anyone still talk about who won the Skate Canada in 1985, even in FSU forums?
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  30. sydneyphoenix

    sydneyphoenix New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2009
    Messages:
    23

    I've already discussed in the post I've just put up, but it's simply matter of how much value one assigns to each title and medal. Yes, you might think my view is over-generous on Olympics, but after all, one "reigns" with an Olympic title for 4 years while for one year with a World title.

    Sure, Asada won a major title in each of her season except 2006/2007. That's not the point. The point I'm making is there were always someone with more distinguished records than her in each season other than 2007/2008. I wonder if we're trying to convince other of arguments that are not mutually exclusive.

    I know it's not your main point, but I personally couldn't care less about Nationals results-ISU don't even recognise the scores, and given some-shall we say surprising-scores in the nationals last seasons left right and centre, I have no confidence about whether the scores reflect the achievements. I will have to trust that they've got the placements right at the least.

    P.S. I assume you meant 2005 and 2008 GPF? Also, you've forgotten 2009 Cup of Russia (5th), and coming 3rd in 2009 4CC means she stayed on podium then.