Who is the better skater: Kwan or Cohen?

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

  1. ltnskater

    ltnskater Active Member

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    I believe Sasha's one and only clean 3-3 was a 3lutz-3toe at 2003 worlds lp Rachmaninoff program (loved that program).

    Jump wise, Michelle had far superior jump technique, steadiness, edge quality in and out of the jumps and even height was comparable if not better than Sasha's.

    Spins and spirals I would give a slight edge to Sasha.

    Skating skill Michelle wins, and artistry is subjective, I think both have great artistry, let's call it a tie, overall, I would still have Michelle ahead of Sasha as the better overall skater.
     
  2. shoocreme

    shoocreme New Member

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    kwan was more versatile than cohen. she had such a long career people tend to forget little gems here and there. i think she had 4 main stages: the precocious little girl (92-95), the dramatic character actress (96-97, 99), light and floaty michelle who was portraying herself and her love of skating (98), and then the last chunk of her career (03-05) where she tried to portray a stronger, more powerful image rather than that delicate, lyrical style she embodied mid career. her body type coincidentally changed to match HA

    cohen could do the fierce, passionate diva (malaguena, dark eyes) or the soft prima ballerina but she had a serious case of b****face which meant the gigantic smiles she'd plaster onto her face during some of her programs looked so fake. those joker smiles were more scary than they were warm and inviting
    also, with the success of malaguena it seemed like every sp she did afterwards was a pale imitation of the same theme. even when she came back in 2010!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
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  3. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Sasha

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    You can't be serious. Michelle Kwan was one of the most consistent skaters of all time. To compare her with the often falling Chan (even though he has fantastic basic skating skills) is ludicrous. When Michelle made mistakes, the judges did hammer her. She lost to Tara in 1997 at nationals and worlds, lost to Irina more than once, and even lost to Maria Butyrskaya when she had subpar skates, which was rare.
     
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  4. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

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    It boggles my mind that this is even a question.
     
  5. antmanb

    antmanb Well-Known Member

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    Nicole Bobek I would say. She had similar flxability in the spiral, but deeper stronger edges and faster than Cohen.
     
  6. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    When it comes to speed, ice coverage, and depth of edge, then yes there have been ladies who had better spirals than Sasha Cohen.

    Sasha Cohen had the most split in her positions and a great toe point (probably the best), but even I know there are some who prefer Nicole Bobek's positions because they felt her line was more aesthetically-pleasing. Someone also mentioned that Bobek has a much deeper edges to her spirals too, but the problem is that Bobek didn't hold her positions as long as Cohen's did. Whether that was due to ability or choice, I don't know.

    Also, Michelle Kwan's speed and ice coverage in her spirals (ability to hold that position with extreme steadiness and probably the smoothest transition from inside to outside edges of anyone) were the best during her era. If you watch her exhibitions, you can see all the different positions and edges Kwan was able to do on her spirals. Her stretch was already top-notch, but it actually got better in the 2004-2005 season and in that Totentaz SP she performed that one time in Winter 2005.
     
  7. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

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    I believe Bobek was "the first" to do the spiral in that position. It did not appear to become common until after Cohen started doing it.
     
  8. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

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    I never claimed that Michelle was the most original or versatile skater ever, but in comparison to Sasha, Kwan was more original and versatile than Cohen. Michelle had a knack for skating to music pieces that no one had ever heard in skating competition before and, stylistically, she did attempt to challenge herself from what was comfortable to her. Given her comparitively shorter career to Kwan, Cohen recycled many of her programs and music pieces . . . she skated to music from Dark Eyes for 3 seasons, Malaguena for 2 seasons, and My Sweet and Tender Beast for 2 seasons. Even Cohen's Romeo + Juliet competitive LP in the 2006 season came about after she had already used the piece of music as an exhibition in 2003-2004. Performing to Skating's Greatest Hits or to the same music pieces over and over and over doesn't show originality or versatility. If you believe it does, then I'll simply agree to disagree with you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2013
  9. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    I always found Cohen to be sort of dead behind the eyes when she skated. She hit the high notes with her positions and everything, but I never really found her convincing in her musical expression. I always felt there was a sort of mental or spiritual separation between her and the music, but she luckily had choreography that utilized her flexibility well.

    The one time I really felt something during a performance was her 2006 Olympics LP. After her two mistakes, she just woke up or something, but her performance for the rest of that routine felt genuine.
     
  10. Simone411

    Simone411 aka IceSkate98

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    I'm going with Michelle. I like Sasha and she was a talented skater, but she always fell at least once during her long programs. I can't remember any long program during competition where she didn't fall. If she could have focused, that would have been great, but she always seemed to lose her concentration which caused her to fall.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. shoocreme

    shoocreme New Member

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  14. 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.
     
  15. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

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    The Kween of course!
     
  16. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Active Member

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    Love them both, but Michelle Kwan hands down... she had the whole package.
     
  17. 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.
     
  18. 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.
     
  19. 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.
     
  20. Sparks

    Sparks Well-Known Member

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

    falling_dance Bravo, Patrick.

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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.
     
  22. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    So very true!
     
  23. 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?
     
  24. 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.
     
  25. 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.
     
  26. AJ Skatefan

    AJ Skatefan Well-Known Member

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    Go for it. List them please.
     
  27. 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
     
  28. 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.
     
  29. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Julia, Elena, Anna, Liza, and Sasha

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

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

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    But a lot less content.