Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Fandango, Oct 25, 2013.
I would define it as someone whose skating transcends time and space. That is why we have skaters from different countries and different eras on the list. It's not a popularity contest, like whose skating is being watched the most.
It's someone that left a lasting impression on the sport by doing something extraordinary- e.g. The Protopopovs changed pairs skating forever, Elvis Stojko made the quad jump routine, Midori Ito's triple axel, Torville-Dean's row of 6.0's for Bolero (a moment etched in skating history). Not every legend will be known to a casual fan, but the real fans will remember them and/or try to dig up their tapes or youtubes to watch what they did.
I usually do not include any of the current skaters on the list because their careers are still developing. One exception, however. Plushenko has already achieved the legendary status in spite of being a 'current' skater. His comeback in the 2010 Olympics and his efforts to skate in his 4th Olympics - yes, the efforts- are legendary. In the quad-jump era, I have not seen a skater with such longevity, and such passion for the sport that he undergoes numerous surgeries and rehabs just to be able to compete.
Currently there are skaters that could become legends- V&M, Chan, Yu na Kim, and possibly D&W (they are almost there, IMO). If D&W win the OGM in Sochi, they will definitely be legendary, in case their two world titles are not.
Some skaters are legends in their own countries, but not worldwide, and that is very understandable.
The bottomline is there is no fixed definition of a legend. Each one makes up his/her own definition. Some are limited to the country (like someone mentioned Korpi and Joubert). For a broader definition I would go for a wider fan base and a very long time frame to define it.
I'm not ciocio, but my two cents: There are avid fans for each star who follow his/her career from the start. It's those same avid fans who upload close encounter fan cams on Youtube, and they don't necessarily represent a broader fan base. No doubt Plushenko has been popular outside of Europe, especially among Japanese female fans for a long time, but at the same time I guess many of his fans in Japan started following his career since Turin (not you or your friends, obviously). Number of contemporay followers in a certain segment or age/gender group of a market doesn't necessarily translate into the status of the figure in the broad scheme of things.
It's not that I don't consider Plushenko as a legend in figure skating.
Probably. I don't know his every fans in Japan, but I can show his incredible popularity in that country today, where many people go crazy for figure skating. Thank God!! Plushy has more than 123 000 followers on twitter, most of them are Japanese, I think more like Russian. Oh I almost forget, Plushy has own watch Ulysse Nardin Champion Plushenko http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9Gm-9Jd1u4 he advertised it in Japan in summer of 2012 ( the price: 11 000$)
Actually Lala is right because Plushenko has fans in Japan since he was a teenager and he attended competitions there (Japanese fans called him sunny boy for the first time), but obviously since he had a long career some of them forgot him, others discovered him later other rediscovered him when he came back in 2010 and went to his post-2010 shows. I know the Japanese fans upload a lot of videos with Yagudin too, I don't think they will ever be erased, if the account survives, of course.
You mean that today Plushenko is a legendary skater in Japan, no?
Agreed. And I'd add the fact that she was an inspiration to later greats from other countries (e.g. Yuna Kim) as evidence that she is liked and appreciated by more than just the judges.
It's important to be able to look beyond one's own preferences. I mean, I've never been a huge fan of Plushenko's skating, but it's obvious to me that his competitive record and influence make him a legend.
I agree Tim had a far superior career and is a stronger skater than Guo (although Guo was a better overall jumper IMO). However he is just as close to being a complete unknown in skating circles outside of maybe the U.S (and even in the U.S you never hear any talk of him ever these days) as Guo is these days. Being the first to do a quad something on its own is just a novelty, like Vern Taylor's so called first triple axel. Being the first to push a new technical development, do it repeatedly, while winning major titles and being a top skater for a long time with it (Ito and her triple axel, Orser and his triple axel, Browning and Stojko with their quads and Elvis's quad combos, Miki first to do a quad but winning titles with the best and most consistently done ever triple lutz-triple loop instead) are the only way to achieve a real legacy by that means.
I have to disagree with you again. Guo and Goebel are simply not in the same bracket. How many world or Olympic medals did Guo win? I don't even remember that skater, and I don't care if his jumps were better. Goebel was a good skater under the 6.0 system, and I am sure he is better known outside the USA because his name appears multiple times as a podium finisher at the world/Olympic level.
I was RESPONDING to Giselle's post. The skaters who I listed are ones who have admitted being inspired by Michelle Kwan.
Read before you type.
The only reason someone would leave Michelle off a list was bc she does not have OGM. But she has everything else and came close - 2 times - to the OGM. Her longevity in the sport - making THREE Olympic teams - pretty much medaling every year at worlds, is unmatched by any skater in any discipline. For anyone to say she should not be on a list of worldwide greats is just a travesty. Someone would only say that if they buy the media hype that OGM defines a great skater. It does not and should not and Michelle is a perfect example of that.
For 95% of people is the US, if you asked, name one great skater of the last 20 years- Michelle is who you would mention. Michelle defined the sport in the late 90/early 2000s. Indeed, if you asked that question 10 years ago I think most ordinary people in the world not just USA would mention her. Many people may not even know she never got OGM.
Susanna Poykio could be added to the list.
I generally agree with the original list (in the first post), though I'd add Michelle Kwan (she's become such an icon how can she NOT be included!) and Grishuk/Platov (I hated them throughout the 1998 Olympics thanks to the NBC "fluffs" but have since come to really appreciate them - plus, they did win 2 OGMs, and Pasha was memorable to say the least!).
I'd personally include both Yagudin and Plushenko, though if I HAD to pick just one I'd go with Plushenko. I loved Yagudin and rooted for him over Plushy during their rivalry and esp. the 2002 Olys, but Plushenko's definitely left more of a legacy in the sport with his quite successful comebacks, sheer determination and UNREAL jumping talent (I covet the athletic side more, so sue me =P). I was pretty annoyed with how the American media vilified him in Vancouver (that's a whole other topic), but he IS quite well known (as far as figure skaters go) and respected in other parts of the world. Actually, even in the U.S., he and Yagudin are like the only skaters other than Kwan that my friends who are no longer into fs and don't know any of the current skaters remember fondly - it was if nothing else a legendary rivalry.
( I didn't say Yag isn't popular skater in Japan or everywhere, I said, Plushy is in another cathegory.)
You made it a lot clearer for me and I absolutely agree that current skaters who are still developing may become legends, but can't yet be considered such.
You have a point about skaters being legends in their own countries but not internationally. I'd say that Denkova/Staviski will go down in history as the first Bulgarian skaters to win a worlds gold medal (well, they won two in a row!), what makes them legends from the Bulgarian point of view, for sure.
Michelle may be the one of the few skaters to not win OGM to be on a list of greats...and that just underscore what a great she is. To be considered among your sports greats without winning the pinnacle trophy is truly an extraordinary accomplishment.
IMO when the list of 'legendary' becomes really long, the word loses its meaning.
Also, I agree that context is important, as in legendary in a country, in the world, or in an era.
difficult to say now since I'm a FS fan. But when I started to watch FS back to the late 80's, the legends were :
I recall seeing both Yagudin and Plushenko at 98 Worlds and it was immediately obvious to me which was legendary. Side by side during practice it was easy to see that while Yagudin had It, Plushenko had IT.
But I also do think both of them are considered legendary around the world.
hm. Plushenko was 15, if you don't remember. His first season in seniors. He won silver in ECH and bronze in WCH.
Even at that young age, Plushenko had charisma, and personality on the ice. It's rare for someone that young. What made both Yagudin and Plushenko legends was their ability to deliver under pressure.
yes, totally agree.
Well if the definition of being a legend is as the OP put it:hugely popular, famous, and beloved in nearly all parts of the World I would say only the following fit that category:
Ladies- Kim Yu Na, Peggy Fleming, Midori Ito, Janet Lynn, Katarina Witt, Sonja Henjie
Men- Kurt Browning, Dick Button, Evgeny Plushenko, Toller Cranston, John Curry, Robin Cousins, Scott Hamilton, Alexei Yagudin
Pairs- Gordeeva & Grinkov, Shen & Zhao, Underhill & Martini, Miskutienok & Dmitriev, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze
Dance- Torvill & Dean, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Virtue & Moir
I don't see the Worldwide popularity and fame to call Kwan, Davis & White, Peizerat & Anissina, Irina Rodnina legends, but that doesn't imply they are any less great of skaters as some who are legends. Just that they didn't have the same whole World impact or fame. Maybe I am wrong on Irina rodnina though and would understand more had I been around in the 70s.
Yu Na is a legend and Michelle is not? LOL
Sure, outside of North America Yu Na is easily more famous than Michelle. You are thinking about it only from an American perspective. Go to Asia and Kim would be even more a superstar than Kwan here, and while Kim is very well known even in North America, Kwan would be almost invisible over there. In Europe Kwan was also never a big star of any sort.
My reaction is just the opposite of yours. Anyone who thinks Kwan is a Worldwide legend and Kim is not right now is a huge ROTFL!
Michelle is a legend in skating. I can tell you that in N America, the general public has no idea who Yu Na Kim is in the same way you say Michelle is invisible in Asia.
There is no way you can deny in the skating world, Michelle is not a legend. She has 5 world titles and two Olympic Medals. Everyone in the skating world in Asia knows Michelle. Isn't she Yu Na's idol? Why would some no name be her idol?
Well anywhere outside the U.S and maybe Canada the general public as you put it would have no idea who Michelle Kwan is so what is your point. In Europe her main rival Irina Slutskaya and skaters like Plushenko, Shen & Zhao, Yagudin, Anissina & Peizerat, Lambiel, were even a far bigger stars than she was while they all competed. Atleast to serious skating fans Kim has a large fan base even in the U.S and Canada as the huge ovations and the interest she sparked in her apperances in Canada and the U.S show, which is not really even true of Kwan in Asia. I have no interest in arguing with annoying Kwan ubers though so think what you want. I am entitled my opinion and I am not the only one in this thread who feels that way.
What basis do you have for this claim?? Figure skating is not even popular in North America since Michelle retired, so while Kim is a star in the skating world, she is not a household name. I really have doubts that in the era when Michelle competed, when figure skating was much more popular (and not just in Asia), and being at the top for so long, she was not well known outside of North America.
My point is that you said no one outside of the US knows Michelle, and I was just mentioning that no one in the US knows who Yu Na Kim is other than people who follow skating. She is not a big star here in the same way you described Michelle in Asia.
While in Asia it is more popular than ever since Kwan retired. So again what is your point.
People in this thread just focus on North America this, North America that, as if North America were the whole World. They say skating was most popular when Kwan competed but the only place in the World this was true was North America. Skating is doing just fine in other places these days without Kwan. As for the North America part even that isn't entirely so. Skating popularity in the U.S peaked with the Battle of Brians, followed by the Harding and Kerrigan scandal years later. Kwan just helped keep it up there awhile longer, but it didn't reach a new all time height. Skating popularity in Canada peaked in the Browning, Stojko, Orser, Manley, days.
Of course the United States aren't interested in skating anymore (in Canada it is quite popular again with Chan and Virtue & Moir doing well, and just as much or more as it was most of the Kwan years, and Kwan was never the biggest reason Canadians watched skating to begin with). They only care when they have someone on top in the ladies and they don't since Kwan and Cohen are gone. Kim cant provide them with that, nor can Davis & White and Lysacek, and that is all they care about. They had it for years with Albright, Heiss, Fleming, Hamill, Thomas, Yamaguchi, Lipnski, Kwan, Cohen, and now they don't anymore, so skating is nothing for them until that American lady singles star who wins titles comes along again, or another gory story like Harding and Kerrigan (the best example of all how American popular equalling Worldwide legacy is a huge LOL). That is the last thing that proves someones Worldwide legacy.
You said Yuna is this big star all over the world, and I am telling you that in the USA, she is not a big star (outside of skating fans). I live in the USA I don't live in Asia or Europe so I cannot say if she is popular there. But I can tell you here she is not a household name. Not sure why you find that bothersome? Am I not supposed to give you information about Yu Na's popularity in the US just because I live in the US?
Anyway I brought it up because you told me that Michelle is not a household name in Asia.
Most skaters are most popular in their home country.
So my point is that being a legend in skating should not be determined on who is a household name.
Everyone who is a skating fan knows Michelle's legacy.
Sigh. The Kwan-was-only-popular-in-North America myth again. Of course, if your barometer for popularity is based on the knowledge of the global, general public or the once-every-4-years fans, then no skaters would make the cut. If you poll real skating fans and actual skaters, then Kwan would surely make the list.
Maybe someone should ask Yu Na if she considers Kwan a legend. Considering how many skaters from all over the world list Kwan as an influence/favorite (Kim, Kostner, Lepisto, Suguri, Korpi, Rochette, to name a few), I'd say she's popular enough worldwide.
^^ I agree. From a non-American: Michelle Kwan is a fairly well recognized name and face in my part of the world too, even among the casual viewers.
Also, that Kwan may not be as popular overseas as she is in the US doesn't mean that she is so completely unknown that it should affect her status as "legendary". Irina fans in Russia (or elsewhere), for example, will know who she is, just as Kwan fans in the US know who Irina is. I don't think popularity is a good test, because it varies. For example, I recall reading that, around 1998, Michelle was extremely popular in Japan; her popularity there seems to have decreased over time, especially as more and more Japanese skaters became prominent.
Oh God-I knew this subject would bring out the uber Plushenko-ites and their statistics and their rabid demand that their god win every imaginary contest.
People, if I never saw Plushenko skate again, I would be happy because you guys just wear me out. You turn me off to him. being a fan is great. Being an unrelenting presence is boring, boring boring.
Yes, I prefer Yagudin. Does that men I don't respect Plushy? No-I've said repeatedly he's a great skater. By all means put him in the Legends Club. It isn't a contest to see who is the best skater!
Why do you have to turn everything into a Yags-versus Plush contest?? Is it that important to you?
BTW-I'd put Kwan in there too, Olympic gold or no.
Where did you see this? I am looking at several posts above yours and I don't see Plushy being mentioned (he is on earlier pages). I like both Yagudin and Plushenko, but Plushy just a little more because of what he is doing this late in his career. I don't recall acting like he is God, or that he win every "imaginary contest".
You are definitely wrong about Irina Rodnina. She ranks alongside Sonia Henie as a legend, and most of us were not even born when she was competing (Sonia). Being legendary does not have to do with worldwide popularity. Those who are not into FS will only know the names of a few top skaters from their country (may be occasionally a skater from another country). Skating fans usually know who the great skaters are, regardless of what era they skated in.
Dorothy Hammel .. Grishuk/Platov.. Peggy Flemming ... Torvil & Dean
Dick Buttons. .. Victor Petranko
ITA, just substitute the name Kwan. Can we PLEEEEEZE just say she is a legend so we can talk about something else... anything else???
Separate names with a comma.