Who is the better skater: Kwan or Cohen?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by shady82, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Sasha had some lovely programs that she presented very well, but I don't think any of them could be seen as something unique or out-of-the-box. All of her selections were well-known or warhorses...very nice and well done programs but nothing that pushed boundaries: R&J, Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Rachmaninoff, Carmen, Malaguena. Her choices were effective but very safe.

    I do think Michelle's music choices show greater versatility. She (and Lori) went for music that wasn't well known which made choreographing and delivering the program more difficult b/c they had to sell the judges and the audience on two things instead of one. Well-known music is familiar to the judges' ears so they know what's coming next. It's an easier sell for a skater...selling both the music and the program is a taller order.

    Michelle stepped out of the box with Rush, A Day in the Life and Miraculous Manadrin, but IMO none more than Red Violin. Red Violin was so unique b/c there isn't a lot of music to hide behind. It takes a special kind of choreographer/skater combo to pull off a program like that and Michelle did it beautiful. That program had a completely different feel to it: soft and haunting yet still powerful. It's a masterpiece IMO.

    Michelle's portfolio of programs includes classical/lyrical (Lyra, Rach), dramatic (Desdemona, Miraculous Mandarin), exotic (Salome, Taj Mahal), powerful (Tosca, Feeling Begins), contemporary (Rush, Day in the Life), and whatever you would classify Red Violin as. I think she had the ability to pull off any kind of music thrown at her...except Bolero! :lol: I think that was the one miss in her entire career, though the original version of the program with all of Dean's choreography was pretty good.
  2. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    Many. Sasha's pattern was not the strongest and her change of edge was rather wimpy. There's a lot more to a spiral than how high you can lift you your free leg. Take Shizuka Arakawa's spiral at the 2006 Olympics. Maybe not as aesthetically pleasing as Sasha's but she held her position for much longer, made an absolutely gigantic pattern on the ice (went out much further towards the boards than Cohen did) and her edge control was much better too.
  3. shoocreme

    shoocreme New Member

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  4. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    The answer to this questions seems very obvious. Kwan beat Cohen in the majority of their head to head matchups. Kwan was a better skater.
  5. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    The Kween of course!
  6. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Active Member

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    Love them both, but Michelle Kwan hands down... she had the whole package.
  7. duane

    duane New Member

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    Even tho Sasha was nerve wrecking to watch (it was never a question of if she'd fall, but when she'd fall), I liked her programs better and found her overall skating more interesting to watch.
  8. giselle23

    giselle23 Active Member

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    So wrong in so many ways. When did Michelle win a World Championship with three falls? Michelle skated more back-to-back clean programs than any skater I can think of. She was often underscored by the judges, who left room for Irina Slutskaya and others. Look at her technical marks at 2000 Worlds for her flawless, 7-triple performance. Room was left not just for Irina but also for Maria Butyrskaya! If either one had skated clean they would have won. So Michelle not only had to be perfect; she had to be perfect and have her rivals make mistakes! Sasha was her own worst enemy. The judges didn't need to have an excuse to mark her down, because Sasha always failed to come through in the long program at Nationals.
  9. Spun Silver

    Spun Silver Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure why this thread was started but it has become a setup and a pretext for dumping on Cohen. Kwan's record speaks for itself. On every best-lady-skater poll I've ever seen, Kwan wins, at least until Kim came along. It is not really a fair comparison.

    I love Sasha's skating (my user name is based on her spins and OSM) and her consistency (21 consecutive podiums), while not nearly as good as Kwan's, is much more apparent than it was 7 years ago. Her FS mistakes were frustrating and heartbreaking, but they pale next to Chan's. Still, I obviously can't love her for her gold medals or competitive nerve. Alas, the problem of the FS fall(s) really seemed to get to her and become a self-fulfilling fear. But her skates are some of the most beautiful and memorable I've ever seen. She is the skating ballerina par excellence. To many skating fans, there is no need for that -- skating is a sport with its own technique and requirements (let alone that most skaters study ballet to improve their line and grace). But to many, Sasha was a unique example of someone who brought exquisite balletic line, drama, and artistry to the competitive arena. Her career is full of what-ifs and tears (as she once admitted in an interview), but I don't think she will be forgotten, at least as long as Youtube is still there letting the skaters and fans of the future see her Rach 2, Romeo and Juliet, Nutcracker, Dark Eyes, Malaguena, God Bless America (exhibition), etc. Those programs are never going to seem humdrum or second rate.
  10. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but did Kwan ever do this?
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  11. falling_dance

    falling_dance The Scarlet Unlettered

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    Anyone who took so little care with the ice and the safety of skaters would meet the fate implied in this bit of choreography.
  12. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    So very true!
  13. duane

    duane New Member

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    Michelle was the first skater of the last group! What should the judges have done--not leave room for Irina and defending champion Maria, even when both had 7-triple programs planned?
  14. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    I never said anything about originality. I said versatility. Skating to the obscure music does not alone make somebody versatile. Original, sure. Versatile, no.
  15. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    I do think Kwan is better than Cohen by a landslide, but this logic is flawed in so many ways. I could list many examples of skaters who lost the majority of head to head match ups to inferior skaters.
  16. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Go for it. List them please.
  17. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    You didnt ask me but:

    Ito vs Witt
    Many other skaters vs Witt (arguably)
    Lipinski vs Kwan (I believe Tara have a winning record of 5-4, if we only include individual events)
    Slutskaya vs Kwan from 2000 onwards (although I guess there are some who would argue Slutskaya was overall atleast as good a skater from 2000 onwards, but many would say otherwise)
    Schuba vs Lynn
    Zayak vs Sumners (well in the opinions of many anyway)
    Fratianne and Poetzsch vs Watanabe, Marie Allen, Biellmann, especialy Biellmann
    Baiul vs Chen
    Kerrigan vs Harding
    Hughes vs Cohen (I believe Hughes has the winning record)
    Trenary vs Harding
  18. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    don't forget Klimova/Ponomarenko vs Bestemianova/Bukin. K/P were so far superior it wasn't even funny. I would even mention Wilson & McCall vs B/B as I thought W/M were also superior.
  19. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    B&B had more speed and power in their skating than either of these teams in 1988.
  20. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    But a lot less content.
  21. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    True, I didnt mention that one though as I didnt want to mention examples where the general reason was mainly horrible judging (K&P vs B&B). The examples I mentioned it was more based on the scoring system, who was the stronger competitor, who put it together at the right times, who was able to succeed highly via meeting the rulebook or collecting points and beat people who they werent neccessarily better skaters then, and all the variables of momentum, reputation, chance, that go into results.

    Other examples would be Brian Joubert, Evan Lysacek, and to some degree Elvis Stojko. People concede they deserve their medals and achievements (other than maybe Evan to some degree) but they arent considered phenomenal skaters on par with their medal records, and are considered inferior to many who have less medals and victories than they do.
  22. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    OK. Maybe you're right about most of them. Many of them were before I started watching skating. I do think that consistency and competitive nerves are part of being a better skater though.
  23. fenway2

    fenway2 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, JJ. You mentioned a few I was thinking of and some I'd forgotten. Here are a few more.

    Bonaly was not better than Sato despite beating her more often than not.

    Ditto for

    Bonaly and Chouinard

    Goebel and Savoie

    Hughes and Nikodinov

    Barna and Wylie

    Maurizio Margaglio and take your pick
  24. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    They skated much further apart, with much simpler handholds, and much simpler content and choreography as others have noted. No way in hell did they ever deserve to beat either team. I would've had B&B 2nd in 1985 and then 3rd in 86, 87, and 88. Their garish expression was a very clear attempt to distract from their lack of skating skills. I keep losing my patience whenever I watch them as all they seem to do is slash through their music in an attempt at cheap drama.
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

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    I couldnt believe all the 6.0s they got for their FD at the 87 Worlds when I thought that was their worst program of all. I would have had them 4th or 5th in the FD that year.
  26. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Anyone who has an opinion on Kwan vs Cohen needs to see them in person. You can't judge correctly based on TV. I remember when Sasha came on the scene I thought that she would be a serious rival to Michelle. I didn't see her in person until 2003. My sister (who knows nothing about skating) & I were at COI. Sasha skated fairly early, but right after a couple of skaters with excellent skating skills. My sister leaned over & whispered "who is she...she's not very good, is she?"

    That's because her edges were almost non-existent & she was slower than anyone else. Of course she did improve in that dept but even at Turino she was clearly the slowest of the podium-hopefuls. It is easy to get wowed by her flexibility but that's not skating. It is silly to ask who is the better skater - you can't seriously put Cohen ahead of any of her nearest competitors, much less Michelle. Better to ask which skater to you prefer to watch - that's subjective so it's just a matter of taste. For a lot of people, Sasha was the preferred attraction.

    I do give spins to Sasha but not spirals. Other than her split position, her spirals were nothing to write home about. They were wobbly & the edge quality was poor. And I take issue with some of her medals where IMO the judges were swayed by her aesthetic quality. 2003 Skate America is a glaring example. Jenny Kirk had 2 of her best programs (Chicago & Die Fledermaus) & performed flawlessly besides having skating skills that were much better than Sasha's.
  27. Andofanatic

    Andofanatic Member

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    Kwan was a great skater but Sasha was probably as great as anyone in the last 20 years except maybe Ando. Had she put it together she would have won dozens of titles. Pretty much every event from 2002-2010 was hers to lose.
  28. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    ...and she lost majority of the big ones. BTW 2010 US nationals was not hers to lose. She had not competed in 3 years and no longer had the technical skills.

    I liked Sasha as a performer; she was lovely to watch, but to say that her skating skills were even comparable with Michelle's is an exaggeration. To say that she was as great as anyone in the last 20 years is not only a gross exaggeration, but it is an insult to many deserving skaters (Michelle, Irina, Kristi, Yuka Sato, Chen Lu- to name some) in that era.
  29. Andofanatic

    Andofanatic Member

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    Yuka Sato a better skater than Cohen, LOL! Get real. Sato won a fluke World title when nobody showed up. The field was so devoid of most of the top skaters it should have been cancelled to begin with. The only thing she does better than Sasha is basic skating. Why was Sasha a gold medal threat in so many events and Sato not even a medal threat in any event but the non Worlds of the 94 Worlds. Chen was weak in all of spins, footwork, spirals, and didnt have high jumps or much artistry until the end of her career.
  30. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

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    Yuka Sato had superior skating skills, thus was a better SKATER than Cohen.
  31. Andofanatic

    Andofanatic Member

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    So best skater is only about skating skills and nothing else. Are Sato, Arakawa, and Fumie Suguri the three best ever then over people like Kwan, Kim, Henie, Ito, and Witt. Get real.
  32. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

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    All those mentioned were better skaters with better skating skills.
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  33. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Andofanatic's posts are getting more and more interesting :)
  34. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Agreed but I'd replace the word "interesting" with the phrase "cray-cray". ;)
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  35. Andofanatic

    Andofanatic Member

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    The only crazy thing is saying Sato is a better skater (not just basic skating which of course Sato is better but all things considered) than Cohen. Cohen atleast had a big chance to win a World or Olympic event 4 or 5 times. Sato only had one chance in a non Worlds where 70% of the top women and all the dominant favorites didnt even show up. Other than basic skating what does Sato do better.
  36. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't aware that Jenny Kirk (love her webcasts!!) had skating skills that were so much better than Cohen's. I thought she was also pretty slow and her stroking was kind of short and choppy?

    BTW, if your sister knows nothing about skating, how was she able to tell that Cohen was not very good?
  37. UGG

    UGG Well-Known Member

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    Ok not to hate on Sasha, but couldn't you say the same thing about 2006 worlds that Sasha could not even win? Every top skater was NOT there. And not only does she lose, she loses to Kimmie Meisner of all people, along with Fumie, and places 4th in the long program. If Sasha could not win what would probably been known as a "fluke" world title, how could she win one against the big guns?

    I was shocked that she could not win that competition. Literally shocked.

    During her career I always saw her as a gold medal threat, but after that competition, I came to the conclusion that she just could not win and probably really was never a true gold medal threat. She was totally a podium threat though and after 2003 was on the podium for every competition so there is something to be said for that accomplishment.
  38. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    ^This. My logic may be flawed but since Cohen didn't manage to win one world title and Kwan won five, it seems to me that Kwan was a better skater overall. And I agree with those who've said that Kwan's basic skating skills were far superior. Jumps were better too. Not even comparable, IMO. Cohen has many good qualities and I enjoy watching her as a professional, but in competition days, Kwan had it all over Cohen.
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  39. dorianhotel

    dorianhotel Member

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    Jumps- Kwan
    Spins- Cohen
    Footwork- Tied
    Spirals- Cohen by a bit (Kwan wins this vs virtually everyone else but not Cohen)
    Lines, extensions, beautiful positions, and polish- Cohen by a bit (Kwan wins this vs virtually everyone else but not Cohen)
    Elegance and grace-Tied
    Musicality- Tied or Kwan by a bit
    Sophistication and Maturity- Tied
    Skating skills- Kwan
    Choreography- Tied

    So overall as skaters, excluding competitive abilities, they are pretty equal. Kwan is the much better competitor which is why she wins much more. Kind of like how Karyn Kadavy and Katarina Witt were virtual equal in skating abilities, but since Witt was the much better competitor she achieved much more.
  40. munow

    munow New Member

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    Cohen was able to hit pretty positions. I don't see her being so artistic other than that. Not to mention her technical abilities, both jump technique and basic skating.

    Kwan wins this by a landslide, although I'm not a fan of her either.