I'd rank them:
2000: Michelle Kwan, Red Violin (first two are practically a tie...I always switch between them as favorites)
2001: Michelle Kwan, Song of the Black Swan
2003: Michelle Kwan, Aranjuez
2004: Shizuka Arakawa, Turandot
2008: Mao Asada, Fantasie-Impromptu
2009: Yu-na Kim, Scheherezade
2002: Irina Slutskaya, Carmen
2005: Irina Slutskaya, Queen of Spades
2006: Kimmie Meissner, Queen of Sheba
2007: Miki Ando, Mendelssohn Concerto
As if Shizuka's triple=triples weren't underrotated. This applies to everyone. Michelle usually fully rotated her triples except sometimes during 3-3 combinationsSome of the triples Kwan made back in 2000 or 2002 without a doubt would be subject to harsh DGs if today's tech hawk-eyed specialists overlooked her performances under COP, and she might well have ended up with 4-5 fully credited triples per each performance.
you can't seriously compare two very different skating system performances. Which is why this thread is more about personal preference than anything.While Kwan's performances were fine, if she competed in, say, 2009 with Yuna, Mao, Miki and Joannie, she not only would not have won any medal, but also probably would not have made top 5.
there's no point in even arguing artistry. it's subjective. what does "about equal to today's skaters" even mean, which top skaters, how many of them? top 3? top 5? top 10?I agree with what Mr. Swift once said about Kwan; she does have a great spiral, but her level of artistry is at best about equal as to that of today's top skaters and she significantly falls behind them technically even if we take 1998 Kwan, technically at her peak, for comparison. She never was a technically proficient skater even in her best years.
actually michelle was always a technically proficient skater. she's one of the most consistent ladies in the history of the sport and I think some kwan fan put together a comparison list of statistics that might prove michelle possibly put together the most 7 triple programs in competition ever, or at least she's among the top few ladies that have done so. she was also known for doing a second triple lutz at the near end of her programs. besides her spirals and consistent jumps with solid technique michelle often had some of the best footwork of all the ladies and basic skating skills/edging. her spins were her weakest asset and even those she learned to significantly improve around 2000.
O_o she had a long career in which she was extremely inconsistent and peaked at the right time. I find it so strange how ppl pick and choose when to be picky about under-rotated triple-triples. as much as I love her skating, most of shizuka's career was nothing to write home about until the end.Unlike Kwan, Arakawa proved that she was more than capable of competing under demanding COP's technical requirements by winning the '06 Olympics. In fact, if she competed in 2009 with her Oly winning '06 performance, she probably won the silver.
I don't get why there's this general feeling that michelle declined due to COP. by the time of 2005 worlds, she was entering a decade into her figure skating career and would obviously be on decline. her body was wrought with injuries. her performance at 05 worlds was HARDLY anywhere near her best yet she was still extremely close to 3rd place. Her program in terms of construction wasn't even quite fine tuned for COP nor did she understand COP's complex levels completely at that point (most people didn't either, at that point). To say that if Michelle were at her peak in 98 she would not even be top five today (with all of the levels for COP taken care of) is simply a joke to me considering how close she was in 2005 when she was far from her peak . If she tweaked everything to fit COP levels, in terms of grade of execution Michelle always had top notch spirals, footwork and consistent jumps with good technique. Even her spins would get decent scores if she knew how to play the system. Of course, without a triple-triple she would have a hard time beating a clean Mao or Yu-na, but we're talking about something that's only imaginary: Michelle at her peak form in 2010. She only ever completed a 3 toe 3 toe in competition which wouldn't have been enough but she'd claimed to have landed 3 lutz-3 toe consistently in practice, was watched by peggy fleming landing a 3 sal - 3 loop in practice at 01 worlds, was claimed to have landed a 3loop-3loop in front of tara lipinski during practice, and even tried a 3 lutz - triple loop in competition (which although was an utter failure, showed that she probably had at least been landing them in practice, frank carroll only allowed her to perform elements in comp that she landed 80 percent of the time in practice)
Of course none of this practice stuff or stories of what could have been even matter. but if we're talking about something as imaginary as michelle at her peak (98 or so) in 2010 then..
Last edited by iarispiralllyof; 07-14-2010 at 07:23 PM.
Last edited by giselle23; 07-14-2010 at 08:40 PM.
The only one who is actually better than Michelle Kwan in almost every aspect is, in my opinion, YuNa Kim. And in the spiral sequence, Michelle is definitely the best ever.
There may be skaters who have passed Michelle in the technical aspect, but when it comes to artistry, no one has surpassed her. Yuna can be exciting but she doesn't come close to Michelle's soulful performances. Maybe Michelle's idol Janet Lynn is her equal , but unfortunately I haven't been able to watch too many of her performances.
Honestly Marco, if you look at the way spiral sequences were being done when Bobek started making the final flight at US Nationals, it's hardly a fair comparison. Bobek revolutionized the element, and I'm quite certain she could have kept pace with Kwan had they come along in the same era. Yes, I know they competed against one another, but I think of Bobek as being part of the "gee, I hope I land 5 triples" era, and never really getting on board the 6 triple minimum train that Lu, Lipinski, Kwan and others picked up from Midori and Kristi.
"Puccini cries out for spirals, but really good ones." ~ Dick Button, 1998 Worlds
Good point ^, but I think Marco's right about Michelle being more crafty with the spiral. It's really apples to oranges, though, as few of the other skaters could come close to a Kwan or Bobek spiral.
Count me in as another who does not understand why so many believe Kwan's "demise" was the result of COP. She could not even land a triple loop in 2005 which also happened to be 11 years after her Worlds debut. She was more than capeable of getting high scores on footwork and spirals and +GOE on her jumps even being 11 years into her career with a hip injury. I am sure in her prime she would have made an easy adjustment to COP. Jeez if 1998 Olympics was judged under COP, I am pretty sure she would have won easily.
She was just at the end of her carrer physically when COP came around.
Kwan was clearly past her prime by the time of the 2005 Worlds. To be honest I think her prime was 1996-2001 but she of course is such a great skater she still won many events and medals from 2002-2004 (even U.S Nationals in 2005) while not being in her prime any longer. I think in her prime she would have done quite well under COP. Whether she would have done better or worse depends on which competitors you are referring to mainly.
For some reason, the only skater i can think of, that resembles Kwan's spiral, is the one by Caro. Kostner. Neither are flexible skaters but the extension is impressive. The edge is also similar, as well as the fact that they both smile during.
And of today's skaters, i think the top ladies are the ones who are the best at incorporating spirals into their programs- they seem to make it 'stand out'/attention grabbing, even if the quality of position is not as great, as say, the younger and less experienced American girls (like Mirai).
Having said that, I doubt she could do much about the spins. She was a clean spinner, with good technique and all, but just doesn't have the ultimate flexibility to go on and on with the features. She did show some new spinning tricks near the end of her skating career but those weren't enough (and the tricks also really affected the quality of the spins which were great in 2003 and 2004).
It's interesting to note that after she retired, ISU brought in more features which were not related to flexibility: holding spirals for 6 seconds; holding a spin position for 8 revs or more etc...