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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I understand what you mean but I think it's the fact that the sighting of a triple axel is very rare in ladies FS skating that they hold more significance. Based on her competitive track, Mao should be the most successful Japanese figure skater. She has one more world medal than Midori. Shizuka got the OGM but her career was really a hit or miss. I think in a few decades, Mao could equal Midori's influence in Japanese skaters. Many of them including rising star Kanako already see her as their idol.
    Fair enough. I guess we will have to wait many years to see if this 2-3A-in-a-program is transient hype or something worthwhile. You have a point in saying that 3A is still something of a novelty in ladies skating; that may or may not change in 20 years' time. If 3A had not become such a norm in men's competition and we didn't have more difficult jumps and combinations landed, we just may still be talking about Orser's 1987 World Free Program-we will never know.

    I pretty much see your point regarding Ito vs. Arakawa vs. Asada, though still hesitate to put Asada firmly in front of Arakawa. Sure, in terms of official career statistics, Asada surpassed Ito by virtue of an extra World Title, given same Olympic performance (though I have more respect for Ito for actually pushing the technical boundary of ladies skating), but when you compare with Arakawa-well, Olympic Gold is Olympic Gold. It's not like that Arakawa was a random contender that was on no one's radar in 2006, and she does have her own World Title, in one of the better World-Championship-Winning performances of the decade. If Asada wins one or two more Worlds and another medal in Sochi (regardless of colour), I will place her as being more successful than Arakawa competitively, but for now, I will give it a tie, with tie-breaker going to Arakawa for OGM. But you have every right to disagree with me...with consistency and all.

  2. #62
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    I think though it would also be a mistake to build Shizuka's career up too highly based on the 2 huge wins. Yes she has won an Olympic Gold and World title. She also has no other top 7 finishes in Worlds or Olympics in a decade long international career. In fact she failed to qualify for her own World or Olympic team almost 50% of the time. She has won only 1 Grand Prix event and qualified for the Grand Prix final only 3 times with finishes of 4th, 3rd, and 2nd. She has 6 total internationals wins including her Olympic and World titles, 3 of those coming at Nebelhorn, Winter Universiade, and the Asian Winter Games.

    Of course because of those 2 huge wins she has had a great career and they take her career to a whole stratosphere different than what her career would have been without them. However I would never rate her actual career above Mao's at this point, even without Mao having the Olympic Gold. Mao's 2 Worlds titles plus the Olympic silver already are quite close to Shizuka's 1 World and 1 Olympic Gold. I wouldnt say a World gold and Olympic silver, two outstanding achievements combined is much less value than 1 Olympic Gold on its own. And beyond that the rest of Mao's career puts Shizuka in the dust.

    As comparing to which is the better skater that is subjective of course. I can understand how some would still consider Shizuka the better skater of the two. However in no way IMO has Shizuka had the better overall career even if Mao retired today. If I were a skater I would never rather have Shizuka's career than Mao's, even with Shizuka having the Olympic Gold and Mao not.

  3. #63
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    The only Japanese skaters included in the USFAS "greatest skater" poll were Midori and Mao. I know a "greatest ever" poll voted by facebook users is silly but I think they were generally right with their initial selection of skaters. The inclusion of Lysacek did puzzle me though.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I know a "greatest ever" poll voted by facebook users is silly but I think they were generally right with their initial selection of skaters. The inclusion of Lysacek did puzzle me though.
    No kidding! One great season (2009 Worlds - 2010 Olympics = 1 year) doesn't make one a "greatest ever." Then again, the USFSA has always had a love affair with Evan Lysacek whether he deserves it or not, much like Sasha Cohen.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    No kidding! One great season (2009 Worlds - 2010 Olympics = 1 year) doesn't make one a "greatest ever." Then again, the USFSA has always had a love affair with Evan Lysacek whether he deserves it or not, much like Sasha Cohen.
    They didn't include Sasha Cohen though, which actually surprised me considering how much love she receives from USFSA. Also, I do think Sasha has more influence on younger skaters than Evan does. Evan has the major medals over Sasha but so did Tara (World title plus OGM) but she was left out too. I don't know. Maybe they just included him so that they can pit him against Plushenko in the first round since that will attract more attention.

  6. #66
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    Evan will never be a top 10 skater of all time let alone the greatest ever. The same is true of Sasha Cohen though IMO. Both have what the other lacks. Sasha has special qualities and is memorable but isnt stable, technically solid or able to win. Even is stable, technically solid, and able to win with no special qualities and is not memorable.

  7. #67
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    That's what makes Michelle so special to me. She possessed both memorable qualities and competitive toughness.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post

    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.
    First of all, it's spelled Henie, not Henjie. And she did more to popularize figure skating in the US than any other skater, and she did it with only her films and her touring ice show. She didn't have the Internet or TV such as Wide World of Sports broadcasts to issist her in popularizing the sport.

    And you are familiar with the definition of "prehistoric" aren't you?

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I think though it would also be a mistake to build Shizuka's career up too highly based on the 2 huge wins. Yes she has won an Olympic Gold and World title. She also has no other top 7 finishes in Worlds or Olympics in a decade long international career. In fact she failed to qualify for her own World or Olympic team almost 50% of the time. She has won only 1 Grand Prix event and qualified for the Grand Prix final only 3 times with finishes of 4th, 3rd, and 2nd. She has 6 total internationals wins including her Olympic and World titles, 3 of those coming at Nebelhorn, Winter Universiade, and the Asian Winter Games.

    Of course because of those 2 huge wins she has had a great career and they take her career to a whole stratosphere different than what her career would have been without them. However I would never rate her actual career above Mao's at this point, even without Mao having the Olympic Gold. Mao's 2 Worlds titles plus the Olympic silver already are quite close to Shizuka's 1 World and 1 Olympic Gold. I wouldnt say a World gold and Olympic silver, two outstanding achievements combined is much less value than 1 Olympic Gold on its own. And beyond that the rest of Mao's career puts Shizuka in the dust.

    As comparing to which is the better skater that is subjective of course. I can understand how some would still consider Shizuka the better skater of the two. However in no way IMO has Shizuka had the better overall career even if Mao retired today. If I were a skater I would never rather have Shizuka's career than Mao's, even with Shizuka having the Olympic Gold and Mao not.
    Each to his/her own about the preferred career. I never said my POV was the absolutely correct one. But let me just say that Michelle Kwan and Mao Asada might disagree with your perspective. I agree that Arakawa was inconsistent during her career and much of reputation rest upon her two great wins. However, if Asada was to retire right now, my instinct tells me she might not be remembered in 30 years time as the undisputedly most successful Japanese skater up to 2010. Unless you are a well-learned skating fan, most you would know is that Arakawa won 1 Olympic Gold and 1 World title while Asada won 1 Olympic Silver and 2 World titles. It's analogous to the situation that Torvill/Dean is remembered by sports fan (not figure fans in particular!) for their immortal performance in Sarajevo, and they most often couldn't care less about their 4 World titles, let alone numerous Euros, etc.

    Btw, not to nitpick, but 2009 Worlds and 2010 Olympics were in different seasons. Seeing that these two events were the most prestigious events in two different seasons, I would beg to differ that Lysacek dominated over only one year, though Lysacek wouldn't be in my list of male skating legends-yet. And I agree with many users here that it's impossible to pick the greatest skater of all time-USFA poll ended up being little more than a showdown of facebook fan clubs-as the technique, competitions, competitors and physical demand is just not comparable.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydneyphoenix View Post
    Btw, not to nitpick, but 2009 Worlds and 2010 Olympics were in different seasons. Seeing that these two events were the most prestigious events in two different seasons, I would beg to differ that Lysacek dominated over only one year, though Lysacek wouldn't be in my list of male skating legends-yet. And I agree with many users here that it's impossible to pick the greatest skater of all time-USFA poll ended up being little more than a showdown of facebook fan clubs-as the technique, competitions, competitors and physical demand is just not comparable.
    BUTT Lysacek was only 3rd at '08 Skate America, 3rd at '08 Skate Canada, didn't qualify for the '08/'09 GPF, was only 3rd at '09 US Nationals, and was 2nd at the '09 4CC. He didn't win a competition in the 2009 season until Worlds, so no, he wasn't dominant that season. That's the point I was making. He was only dominant for 1 year (March 2009 - February 2010).

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    BUTT Lysacek was only 3rd at '08 Skate America, 3rd at '08 Skate Canada, didn't qualify for the '08/'09 GPF, was only 3rd at '09 US Nationals, and was 2nd at the '09 4CC. He didn't win a competition in the 2009 season until Worlds, so no, he wasn't dominant that year. That's the point I was making. He was only dominant for 1 year (March 2009 - February 2010).
    Okay...then who would you say was dominant in men's competition that year?

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydneyphoenix View Post
    Okay...then who would you say was dominant in men's competition that year?
    There really wasn't ONE dominant man in the 2008-2009 season. Patrick Chan had 4 wins (2 in the GP, the Canadian title, and the 4CC title) and World silver. Jeremy Abbott had 3 wins (1 in the GP, the GPF title, and the US title). Brian Joubert had 2 wins (1 in the GP and the European title) and World bronze. No one really owned that season in the mens' discipline. I remember going into 2009 Worlds, most everyone thought Patrick Chan would win.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by museksk8r View Post
    There really wasn't ONE dominant man in the 2008-2009 season. Patrick Chan had 4 wins (2 in the GP, the Canadian title, and the 4CC title) and World silver. Jeremy Abbott had 3 wins (1 in the GP, the GPF title, and the US title). Brian Joubert had 2 wins (1 in the GP and the European title) and World bronze. No one really owned that season in the mens' discipline.
    Fair enough, I will give you that. Not that we were really in disagreement regarding Lysacek's legacy in figure history thus far.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydneyphoenix View Post
    Each to his/her own about the preferred career. I never said my POV was the absolutely correct one. But let me just say that Michelle Kwan and Mao Asada might disagree with your perspective.
    Michelle Kwan for sure would never trade her career for Shizuka's, I would bet a house on that inspite of how much Kwan wanted the Olympic Gold Shizuka has. Mao I still doubt would either, but only she would know for sure and is less certain than Kwan, but Mao is likely to achieve even more anyway.

    I agree that Arakawa was inconsistent during her career and much of reputation rest upon her two great wins. However, if Asada was to retire right now, my instinct tells me she might not be remembered in 30 years time as the undisputedly most successful Japanese skater up to 2010. Unless you are a well-learned skating fan, most you would know is that Arakawa won 1 Olympic Gold and 1 World title while Asada won 1 Olympic Silver and 2 World titles.
    I think even a casual skating fan would know Mao was one of the 2 dominant skaters in the World for 4 or 5 years already, and Shizuka was a virtual nobody most of her career but had 2 big wins at her late career peak.

    It's analogous to the situation that Torvill/Dean is remembered by sports fan (not figure fans in particular!) for their immortal performance in Sarajevo, and they most often couldn't care less about their 4 World titles, let alone numerous Euros, etc.
    I think they are remembered for Sarajevo since it was their most historical program of all their many historical programs. They are also remembered for having quite a few historical programs that reached a level of perection shown in the scores attained by no other dancer.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydneyphoenix View Post
    Okay...then who would you say was dominant in men's competition that year?
    There was most definitely no dominant skater of the 2008-2009 season. The guy won won the Grand Prix final, U.S Nationals, and one other grand prix event, wasnt even top 10 at Worlds. The guy who won the most events of anyone was 2nd at Worlds and last at the Grand Prix final. The most consistent skater of the season won nothing other than Europeans and was 3rd at Worlds. And the World Champion didnt even make the Grand Prix final, was 3rd at his own Nationals, and didnt win any event until Worlds.

    If forced to pick one I would pick Chan though since he won quite a few events and was 2nd at Worlds. Still there was no dominant skater of that season, and it certainly wasnt Evan although he won the biggest and most important event of the season so ended it the happiest most likely.

  16. #76
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    As to what career Kwan and Asada might prefer, of course I don't know what answer they would give if they were to be asked that question straight out. I am going by their action following their Olympic campaigns and what they are reputed to have said. I believe there is a consensus that one of the reasons Kwan continued after Salt Lake City was so that she wanted that OGM that came so close to her twice already, and that it is likely that she would have retired had she won Gold in either Nagano or SLC. I'm not saying that's the only reason, but that is likely to have been a factor. I won't claim that she would have retired if she won in Nagano, given her age, competitive fire and talent, she may very well have stayed on til SLC regardless. Her body language when she was congratulating Evan Lysacek on his Vancouver win was also suggestive if you ask me. And there is ever-circulating stories about how she allegedly say that she would have swapped all of her World Gold medals for an Olympic Gold if she could.

    I hope you don't think I am trying to equate Arakawa's career with Kwan's or anything like that. In terms of legacy to modern figure skating, Kwan's legacy is a mountain that few can dare to climb. Certainly I will want to be remembered with Kwan's career than Arakawa's, but I'm just pointing out that the latter have the one thing that the former always wanted.

    As for Asada, she is reported to have said on Japanese media (sorry, but can't find quotes) that she considers her Olympic Silver Medal to have been a greater achievement than her World titles (not sure if she meant one or both of them). If Asada considers OSM>World Gold, since OGM>>>OSM in career achievement, it is plausible to propose that from Asada's POV, she hasn't as yet surpassed Shizuka's career achievement. Her decision to commit to another 4 years of competition almost straight after Olympics can only be explained by desire of that OGM-do you think she would have taken that decision with such a haste if she won in Vancouver? I'm not saying she would have quit-think she would have gone on for a year or two at the least given 2011 World is to be on her country-but she wouldn't have taken decision straight away.

    By the way, don't you think it's unfair to take into consideration what Asada MIGHT achieve in future? I already said my assessment of Arakawa vs. Asada will change depending on the latter's future achievements, but I think we should only take the past achievements when comparing career statistics, etc.

    Now you said that Asada was dominant (or co-dominant at the least) for four or five years, while Arakawa was virtual no-body until her peak late in her career. I wonder how you made it 5 years given she was ineligible for senior International Championships. Let's see how Asada really fared during major competitions (I'm just using official statistics of placement, not taking any POV about the appropriateness of placement into account). For the brevity, I will restrict it to International Championships and Grand Prix Final.
    2005/2006 (Half-Junior, Half-Senior): 1st GPF, 2nd Junior Worlds
    2006/2007: 2nd Worlds, 2nd GPF
    2007/2008: 1st Worlds, 2nd GPF, 1st 4CC
    2008/2009: 4th Worlds, 1st GPF, 3rd 4CC
    2009/2010: 2nd Olympics, 1st Worlds, N/A GPF (failed to qualify, 9th in ranking), 1st 4CC

    From this statistics, I believe that Asada's only legitimate claim to dominance is in 2007/2008 season. In 2006/2007, she failed to win any major title (Miki Ando won Worlds and Yu-Na Kim won GPF). In 2008/2009, she won GPF, but failed to make the podium in the Worlds. In the last season, she did win the Worlds, but Olympics was the biggest competition of the season (and quadrennial) and she failed to make the GPF, not winning either of her events.

    If I make the similar list for other ladies who won any major international competition (there are only three: Miki Ando, Yu-Na Kim, Kimmie Meissner), I will classify each season in the following manner, not taking the appropriateness of placings into consideration:
    2006/2007: Tie between Ando and Kim (I know Worlds>GPF, but Kim also beat Ando in GP event of Paris)
    2007/2008: Asada
    2008/2009: Kim
    2009/2010: Kim

    Also, given her specific placements and margin of scores in the events that she did win, it's hard to claim that Asada was dominant in those particular events. In 2008 and 2010 Worlds, she failed to win any of 4 segments, and was helped to an extent by the inconsistency of her competitors. The margin of victory were less than 1 point in 2008 and about 7 points in 2010. I wouldn't call those statistics marks of dominance.

    I'm not trying to argue that Arakawa was dominant during significant portion of career. I'm just saying that if you are going to make consistent dominance a criteria, might as well get all the facts out. I recognise that her career statistics was dominant in 2007/2008, but would hesitate to name her as being even co-dominant in other seasons, given her finishes, placement in segments and margin of scores.

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    Shizuka had no wins other than the big ones at the end during the years she won her major titles. And the year after she won her world title, she didn't just fall short of the podium, she fell to 9th. Moreover, she was majorly helped by the inconsistencies of her competitors. She was the surprise winner both times when she won. The expectations were all weighed on either Irina or Sasha. If those two skated clean, Shizuka wouldn't have a chance. During her first two senior years, Mao was always one of the two skaters to beat going into the competition. She was the skater to beat in 2006-2007 season posing the highest combined record up to the point at NHK. I don't remember Shizuka ever been the position as the skater to beat. Judgejudy said Mao has remained one of the top skaters during the four years. On the other hand, Shizuka has been on and off the radar during her career. If you're talking about her actual competitive record besides the OGM, it can be argued that Miki had a more consistent career. I don't even think Shizuka herself would say she had the better career. She's a good skater but one who has had a lot of luck.
    Last edited by miki88; 08-01-2010 at 01:34 PM.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydneyphoenix View Post
    As for Asada, she is reported to have said on Japanese media (sorry, but can't find quotes) that she considers her Olympic Silver Medal to have been a greater achievement than her World titles (not sure if she meant one or both of them). If Asada considers OSM>World Gold, since OGM>>>OSM in career achievement, it is plausible to propose that from Asada's POV, she hasn't as yet surpassed Shizuka's career achievement.
    If Mao were to say that she would just be going out of her way to be humble. I would be amazed if Mao considers Shizuka's career better than her own at this point. I still say an Olympic silver and 2 World titles combined is fairly equal to an Olympic gold and 1 World title, and the remainder of Mao's career leaves Shizuka's in the dust. Many aspects of Shizuka's career are frankly embarassing for a World Champion, let alone an Olympic winner. I doubt there is hardly anyone who would give up an additional World title, an additional World silver as well, 2 Grand Prix final titles, multiple Four Continents titles, multiple other international wins, medals, National titles, and also now be saddled with so many poor showings as there are on Shizuka's resume just to change what is already still an Olympic silver to a gold. That is what I would call giving the Olympic Gold, despite it being the biggest prize in skating, too much prestige. Not to mention Mao had to miss an Olympics and Worlds she had a good chance of winning due to the age eligibilty rule, probably good luck for Shizuka who was 0-3 vs a 16 year old Mao that year.

    It could be said Shizuka's Olympic Gold and World title combined is enough to raise her career over say Sasha Cohen's (despite that Sasha was beating her 95% of the time, just not the 2 times that mattered so much). And certainly beyond her countrywomen Fumie Suguri who in fact otherwise would have even had a far superior career. To say they elevate her career above say Mao or Slutskaya (who like Mao has 2 World titles but no Olympic Gold) would be far too much though.


    Her decision to commit to another 4 years of competition almost straight after Olympics can only be explained by desire of that OGM-do you think she would have taken that decision with such a haste if she won in Vancouver? I'm not saying she would have quit-think she would have gone on for a year or two at the least given 2011 World is to be on her country-but she wouldn't have taken decision straight away.
    I am not downplaying that the OGM is the biggest achievement in figure skating and no doubt Mao like all great skaters wants it badly. It just isnt the be all and end all which elevates skaters like Shizuka, Hughes, Baiul, or even Lipinski above ones with far more successful overall careers.


    Now you said that Asada was dominant (or co-dominant at the least) for four or five years, while Arakawa was virtual no-body until her peak late in her career. I wonder how you made it 5 years given she was ineligible for senior International Championships. Let's see how Asada really fared during major competitions (I'm just using official statistics of placement, not taking any POV about the appropriateness of placement into account). For the brevity, I will restrict it to International Championships and Grand Prix Final.
    2005/2006 (Half-Junior, Half-Senior): 1st GPF, 2nd Junior Worlds
    2006/2007: 2nd Worlds, 2nd GPF
    2007/2008: 1st Worlds, 2nd GPF, 1st 4CC
    2008/2009: 4th Worlds, 1st GPF, 3rd 4CC
    2009/2010: 2nd Olympics, 1st Worlds, N/A GPF (failed to qualify, 9th in ranking), 1st 4CC
    No what I said is she was clearly one of the 2 or 3 dominant skaters for 5 years. In the 2005-2006 season she proved she was clearly one of the best inspite of not competing at the Olympics and Worlds by going a combined 5-1 vs Slutskaya, Cohen, and Arakawa, and by winning the Grand Prix final by easily beating OGM favorite Slutskaya. In the 2006-2007 season Asada, Kim, and Ando all shared dominance to a degree. The 2007-2008 season was all about Mao and Kim. I still say Mao was atleast a top 3 skater of the 2008-2009 season. Miki deservedly medaled at Worlds but had done virtually nothing before that point. Mao was the only one to beat Kim that season and did it to win the Grand Prix final. And the 2009-2010 season was obviously all about Kim and Asada in the end inspite of a slow start for Mao.

    Shizuka was not even a top 6 or 7 skater in the World any season other than her World title season in 2004 and her Olympic Gold season in 2006. Heck after making an Olympic and World team at 16 she arguably wasnt even a top 20 skater in the World the next 4 seasons aged 17 to 20 as she plodded around the international circuit with no success at all other than a silver behind Jenny Kirk at the depleted Four Continents event in 02, and every single Japanese World or Olympic team often in favor of someone who finished well outside the top 10. And even in those 2 glory years in 2004 Shizuka failed to win any event, including her own Nationals where she was 3rd, until winning Worlds to end the season. And she failed to even qualify for the Grand Prix final (albeit like Mao in 2010) in 2006. And those were here 2 best seasons ever! Even in the year Shizuka won Worlds she began the year finishing behind Jenny Kirk yet again in her first event of the season at Skate America.

    There just is no comparision in their degree of dominance. I didnt imply Mao dominates womens skating like Witt did but the extent she is one of its dominant skaters over the years is on a whole other plane than Shizuka who was in fact a journeywomen almost her whole career.


    Also, given her specific placements and margin of scores in the events that she did win, it's hard to claim that Asada was dominant in those particular events. In 2008 and 2010 Worlds, she failed to win any of 4 segments, and was helped to an extent by the inconsistency of her competitors. The margin of victory were less than 1 point in 2008 and about 7 points in 2010. I wouldn't call those statistics marks of dominance.
    Shizuka was 3rd in the short program when she won the Olympics. She was beaten handily in the short program at the Worlds she won by Cohen, and she barely won the long program. Despite the skate of her life with 2 triple-triples Kwan with a doubled triple lutz and no triple-triple tries took 4 of 9 counting judges off her, and a sloppy and off form Cohen took 3 of 9. Shizuka has never won the short program at a major event, just like Mao. And many felt Shizuka was majorly held up in the short program of both the 2004 Worlds and 2006 Olympics, and if she hadnt been scored as closely to the leaders as she was, closer than many felt she deserved, she would have a had a harder time winning. And most people consider it bogus that Mao did not win the short program at the 2008 Worlds and the long program at the 2010 Worlds at the very least, there are some who even felt she deserved to win all 4 programs.
    Last edited by judgejudy27; 08-01-2010 at 02:31 PM.

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    Mao won the SP at 2005 and 2006 GPF. And yes I still think she deserved to win the SP over Costner in 2008. I do remember reading somewhere (maybe it was from Sonia Bianchetti's post worlds article) that some judges from the panel that night even disagreed with the final results for the SP. Here's the article http://www.soniabianchetti.com/writi...ndinavium.html
    Last edited by miki88; 08-01-2010 at 03:11 PM.

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    Kostner stepped out of her triple lutz and still beat Mao who skated cleanly (no downgrades on jumps, etc..). Mao was hurt by alot of low levels by the technical specialist on her non jump elements.

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