When people talk about the greatest ever in the various figure skating disciplines it seems easier to pick someone in pairs, dance, and mens. Even if there isnt one dominant consensus pick there seems to be 2 or 3 which everyone picks one of them as their choice. However it seems with the ladies there is much more disagreement and it is harder to find a greatest ever. When you look at each they all have something that make it hard to crown them as the greatest ever:
Henjie- pre historic skater who competed when competitive times and technical demands of ladies skating were nothing like now. Also when politics was at an all time high.
Witt- she has the best modern day record but nobody really believes she was the best actual "skater" that ever existed. Many dont even believe she was the best skater of her own time, just the best competitor and most dominant.
Lynn- some have called her the greatest ever since she was such an amazing skater despite a competitive record which is highlighted only by an Olympic bronze and World silver due to her struggles with figures and sometimes competitive nerve.
Ito- some have also called her the greatest ever despite a competitive record also less than historic due to figures, politics in the days of figures, and bad luck in big events.
Kwan- some have called her the greatest ever but her lack of the biggest prize in skating- the Olympic Gold, is a problem.
Yamaguchi- was a dominant skater for a long time, but most of that in the pros, only 2 years as an amateur. Could have compiled a record that would make a stronger case as the greatest ever had she stayed in longer. Her skating doesnt really inspire in the way Kwan and others did which would inspire many to call her the greatest ever either.
Yu Na Kim- not around long enough yet, nor enough titles.
Asada- same as Kim.
Slutskaya- despite a long and brilliant career with no Olympic gold and only 2 World titles is the clear 2nd fiddle to Kwan of her own generation. Her greatest strength was jumping yet she isnt even considered close the greatest jumper of all time, probably the greatest jumper of her own generation which had almost no great jumpers.
So I think of all the 4 skating disciplines the womens is the hardest one to pick a greatest ever in.