I wonder if either of you actually read the last paragraph of my last post: I said I recognise that Arakawa wasn't really dominant for any significant portion of her career. No need to point that out, that's not disputed, though I can't resist mentioning though that in both of her major win, Arakawa managed to win Free Program. Asada on the other hand camd second in both SP and FS of both 2008 and 2010 Worlds.
The point I'm making is that the statistics of Asada's events make it difficult to uphold the claim that she was dominant in any period other than 2007/2008. I don't know where you get your definition of dominance, but not winning any major title (i.e. 2006/2007) or losing majority of major events, including the biggest fish of the season (2008/2009, 2009/2010) doesn't count as dominant if you ask me. If you were to say Asada was one of the 2 or 3 (or any other number) top lady skater, I will agree with you, but dominance? I don't think so.
I will come back in about 18 hours and answer any objections if the conversation hasn't moved along too much. My apologies for not providing immediate answers to your current and any potential counter-arguments.
Last edited by miki88; 08-01-2010 at 05:25 PM.
I just saw it b4 turning computer off, promise this is the last post you will have from me for a few hours. The point is that just as Arakawa can't claim to have been dominant over multiple seasoons, neiter can Asada, except for 2007/2008.
As for whether I think OGM cover up for lack of consistency-yes, to an extent. I wouldn't presume to speculate on exchange rate, but do believe that OGM is worth more than a world gold medal, and I'm quite sure you would too. Why, Asada allegedly said she considers Olympic Silver to be a better achievement than her World Gold, though I'm not sure if she meant one-to-one, or both of her World Golds. (just have to get the link...).
I will address some of the points you, Judy (and anyone else who may contribute) have raised in the last few posts when I come back in a few hours.
P.S. What's the statistics Judy provided that you're referring to?
You just arent getting it. We are not saying Mao was THE dominant skater of her time. If one had to pick one that would be Kim probably, though not completely clear cut mainly due to Mao. We are saying is Mao has been one of the 2 or 3 (usually 2) dominant skaters of the last 5 seasons now though. Meaning she is clearly and far and away one of the best 2 or 3. She almost never is off the podium or even below 2nd in any major event (the only time she was, was a 4th at the 2009 Worlds and a 3rd at the 2009 Four Continents). She wins atleast one major event every season (2006 Grand Prix final, 2008 Worlds, 2009 Grand Prix final, 2010 Worlds).
And we are contrasting that to Shizuka who except for 2 seasons was not even a top 7 skater for the season. We are saying relatively speaking Mao is a far far more dominant force in her own time than Shizuka, not that she actually is the dominant skater of her time. We are comparing someone who was almost always clearly one of the 2 best to someone who was almost never one of the 7 or 8 best.
If you want to compare their careers:
Dominance- Mao by a huge margin
Consistency- Mao by a huge margin
# of Titles- Mao by a huge margin
Medals- Mao by alot
Worlds success- Mao by a huge margin
Grand Prix success- Mao by alot
Nationals success- Mao by alot
Success vs main rivals- Mao by alot
Longevity- considering Shizuka's international career was dead in the water for 4 years until 2003, even here Mao already
Shizuka's one and only edge is the Olympic Gold medal in an Olympics Mao was kept out of due to being underaged in a year she had a 3-0 head to head with Shizuka, and Mao still has an Olympic silver.
To rank Shizuka over Mao is to overcredit the Olympic Gold on its own to ridiculous proportions.
I am done with this as I dont want to sound like a Shizuka basher. I actually like her skating quite alot, but Mao has already had the better career hands down. Discussing which one thinks is the better skater might be interesting, but who overall had the more success is a no contest even with Shizuka's Olympic Gold and 1 World title to go with it.
And then we look at everything else and it is now Mao's world silver, 2 Grand Prix final golds, 2 Grand Prix final silvers, 5 grand prix event wins, Four Continents titles, and all her other achievements vs Shizuka's silver and bronze at the Grand Prix final, lone grand prix event win, 13th place finish at the 98 Olympics, 8th place finish at the 2003 Worlds, well you get the picture.
I agree with everything you said Judy. But Mao actually won 2005 and 2008 GPF. Now looking at it, 2006-2007 season is the only one she went without earning a major title even though she broke records during that season. This discussion just makes me feel even sadder that Mao wasn't allowed to compete in 2006. Based on her record in the GP series, Mao tied Irina with two wins each with Mao winning the final. If she were allowed to go, she could have been a co-favorite for the gold.
Well, one big difference is that Kristi's domination in the amateur ranks was very short--in fact, really only the first part of '92. True, she did win '91 Worlds, but that was her only big win that year. Of course, I have little doubt that Kristi could have dominated for several more years, but we'll never know that for sure.Originally Posted by judgejudy27
Probably??Ito and Harding at their best were probably better skaters than her
Almost too high-risk. I think the triple axel was both a blessing and a curse for Tonya. It helped propel her to fame in '91, but then her failure to keep landing it kind of led to her undoing later on. I wonder why Midori was more consistent with it than Tonya? I also wonder if Tonya might not have been better off getting a reliable triple-triple than focusing so hard on the triple axel. Then again, naybe her percentage wouldn't have been much different either way.but had higher risk moves, and in Harding's case a very sparatic career.
Yes, Michelle's jumps were bigger. But to me there were a couple of things that set Kristi apart: 1) Unlike Katarina and Michelle, Kristi never watered down her programs IIRC, not even in the pro ranks. She always seemed to go for everything, even if she sometimes missed. Whether or not one likes her skating, it's hard not to admire her gutsiness. 2) Kristi's artistry, while not particularly profound IMO, never seemed arty or forced to me. It always came across as natural. OTOH, at least in her early years, Michelle's artistry usually seemed rather pretentious and manufactured to me, as if she were consciously thinking every time she stepped onto the ice, "I'm here to make an artistic statement." I suppose part of the reason might be that Kristi was 4 years older (almost 20) when she won her first world title, so she really had no need to try to act matoor. Michelle did have more interesting programs, though--at least early on.I definitely prefer Kwan as a skater to Kristi as well though, she just has more IT factor and her best performances are more magical than Kristi's best were. She also has bigger jumps than Kristi's little triples.
First of all, we can't go and speculate on whether Asada may or may not have won the Worlds and Olympics in 2006-that leaves too many variables including the facts that she never skated at either events previously and that she ended up not being able to defend her Junior Worlds Title anyway. Worlds and Olympics come with pressure that if you ask me are quite different from Grand Prix Series. As it turned out, Asada didn't win her first Worlds campaign in 2007. I'm not saying she wouldn't have won 2006 titles (no one knows how things might have played out), but to say she had a good chance is nothing more than speculation. Let's not forget that 2005 GPF was held in Asada's homeground too. You can think of whatever excuses that might serve, but I wouldn't call someone who didn't get to EITHER Olympics or Worlds for whatever reason in 2006 dominant or one of the best, or anything...unless you are going to confer equal prestige to GPF that is given to Olympics or Worlds?
As to the quadrennial that has just ended, I do not know where you get the idea of Asada being dominant (or co-dominant) in 2006/2007. She didn't win any of the major titles (unless you're going to call Grand Prix events as being major titles) and frankly had strings of second finishes. If you are going to call her even co-dominant in that year, why, we can give the similar distinction to Elizabeth Manley regarding 1987/1988 season-she ended up winning silver in both Olympics and Worlds. I think we have to distinguish between being dominant and being one of the top ladies.
No comment on 2007/2008, other than to say that Asada was quite dominant in terms of statistics in that season, and that probably was her best season thus far. Regarding 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, yes, Asada beat Kim one of three times in both seasons. But she lost the biggest fish in both seasons, lost to Kim with large margins when she lostwhile won by significantly smaller margins when she won. Not to mention that she got thrown off the podium occasionally end failed to qualify for 2009 GPF. In fact, Asada lost not just to Kim but also to Joannie Rochette quite frequently in 2008/2009. With all this in mind, I wonder how you are going to explain that Asada was dominant during the quadrennial-"being at or near the top" sounds more accurate if you ask me. We may have to disagree on this particular point, but in my books, you can only have one dominant person or multiple co-domiant persons, but only if no one has an obvious upper hand. I don't think that's what we can say regarding Asada's career for many of her seasons.
Also, what you are saying about "many people" thinking Arakawa's placing in 2004 and 2006 bogus and about Asada's failure to win any segments in either of her World Title wins being questionable are nothing more than speculation. If I play devil's advocate along that path, I can also question Asada's 2008 World Free score given that scary fall and the lack of choreography for 15 seconds thereafter, and by extension the world title itself. However, knowing what kind of hell-gate it will open, I won't. I am simply making the point that you can't use use speculation to back up your claim about career statistics-how many Olympic titles do you think will change hands if we leave it to popular vote?
You think I am over-valuing Olympic gold in the context of achievement. Again we may have to disagree, but that are the names that has any decent chance of being remembered in posterity unless you're particularly a figure skating fan and not general sports fan or disinterested public. Not many (even figure fans) remember likes of Emmerich Danzer or Lily Kronberger despite remembering their contemporaries with Olympic Gold-it's not just about them being from several generations ago, if you ask me. Personally therefore I stick to higher exchange rate of Olympic Gold vs. World Gold, but each to his/her own, and that's not a significant point in discussion.
Final point in this first series of reply: you seem to be thinking that I think Arakawa had some mythical period of dominance that was longer than Asada. That's not what I'm saying. Arakawa didn't have significant porition of period being THE dominant skater, but Asada doesn't have much to show for it other other than 2007/2008. If you are going to argue that Asada had longer period in which she stayed at or near the top than Arakawa, that's one thing, but saying she was the dominant skater is quite another. Also, many casual fans or vaguely interested members of the public will judge the dominance by who wins the World Championships (Olympics in Olympic years). Of course that's not as simple as that, but that's the impression that most people will have in decades time unless you research individual careers methodically. Does anyone still talk about who won the Skate Canada in 1985, even in FSU forums?
Last edited by sydneyphoenix; 08-02-2010 at 10:26 AM.
I've already discussed in the post I've just put up, but it's simply matter of how much value one assigns to each title and medal. Yes, you might think my view is over-generous on Olympics, but after all, one "reigns" with an Olympic title for 4 years while for one year with a World title.
Sure, Asada won a major title in each of her season except 2006/2007. That's not the point. The point I'm making is there were always someone with more distinguished records than her in each season other than 2007/2008. I wonder if we're trying to convince other of arguments that are not mutually exclusive.
I know it's not your main point, but I personally couldn't care less about Nationals results-ISU don't even recognise the scores, and given some-shall we say surprising-scores in the nationals last seasons left right and centre, I have no confidence about whether the scores reflect the achievements. I will have to trust that they've got the placements right at the least.
P.S. I assume you meant 2005 and 2008 GPF? Also, you've forgotten 2009 Cup of Russia (5th), and coming 3rd in 2009 4CC means she stayed on podium then.
What exactly IS your point?
You continuously evaluate Mao's record while ignoring Shizuka's own record other than her big wins. How then can you say Shizuka had a better career? What stats do you have to prove that Shizuka was one of the top skaters for most of her career? Her records shows that she wasn't even close to being the top 3 in the world most of the time.
Then you start talking about people remembering OGM more than non-OGM. What about Janet Lynn? What about Kurt Browning? (he didn't even win a Olympic medal). They are remembered far more than some OGM winners. IMO. As for Mao, I can safely say that she is already more memorable than Shizuka in skating circles and among casual fans where skating is popular now (Asia). As for places where skating isn't so popular like the U.S., I don't think people who tune in only during the Olympics would remember even the names of athletes years from now. Heck. I saw a jeopardy clip where a guy was asked about the nationality of Kim and he said Japan! lol.
Last edited by miki88; 08-02-2010 at 01:00 PM.
wow, I didn't think a thread about the best ever would end up talking about Asada vs. Arakawa...
For me it's ok, as they both are superlative skaters and even if they don't end up having the resume of witt, kwan or slutskaya are much better skaters imo
I think in terms of edging, at least in the modern era, I can only think of Sato and arakawa as the true queens. Perhaps Lynn, and other former greats were better but I don't know much about that era
asada has a lightness that I can't think of anybody else in my head right now. She's the epitome of soft and elegant skating
I know I raised a lot of points during our discussion, but it all comes back to one thesis: even though Arakawa didn't have much of a dominant period during her career, Asada-as yet-hasn't had much of it either herself. That is what I've maintained since we started to have a debate over whether Asada is at present the most successful Japanese lady figure skater. If you ask me, the statistics of competitive records show that neither Arakawa nor Asada (as yet) has met the criterion of having one's own period of dominance (i.e. at the summit, not "at or near the top"), thugh I suppose that you will disagree. If you want to say Asada from her achievements thus far have more of a dominant legacy than Arakawa given her consistency, you are welcome to it, but to show that she actually had a period that she can call her own-like Katarina Witt or Michelle Kwan-will be more difficult. Other points I've raised like worth of OGM came as corollaries, as one will always have to address the relative worth of OGM compared to other titles and medals when comparing these two careers.
I find myself keep repeating over Arakawa-I'm not the one debating about her specific career statistics. I didn't claim that she had strong consistency during her career, or that she was dominant over a single or multiple season(s). I wonder where you've got the idea from, so you can stop the histology session of Arakawa's career.
You brought up the subject of past atheletes who are now hailed as greats of the sports despite not winning OGM. I have to say I do not have a structured opinion about Janet Lynn's legacy. I simply do not know enough about achievements of Lynn (tangible and intangible) to comment on it. As for Kurt Browning...has it occurred to you that he won four World Titles (including 3 in a row) AND he's the first man to have landed a quadruple jump? I would say winning three Worlds in a row and not finishing off the podium from 1988/1989 season onwards except 2 Olympic appearance demonstrates his dominance in 1988/1989 to at least 1991. I'm quite sure you will not dispute that point. As you will probably know, there were no other major titles like GPF or 4CC in those days. So what kind of analogy about Asada are you trying to draw from Browning? If you meant her Olympic Silver...how many World titles will you make up with that, not to mention the historical first quad of Browning?
I am well aware that Asada is more talked about in figure skating scene at the moment; she is, after all, one of the highest ranked lady figure skater. But I'm approaching the whole matter from the perspective of history-who will people (not just figure enthusiasts) remember decades from now? As I said before, few other than figure skating fans (and not even some figure fans) will bother to research careers that deeply. All that many casual observers flicking through the history book will know is that Arakawa won an OGM and a World title in a separate year while Asada (using hypothetical of frozen career as of now, since we can't speculate on future other than as hopes) won Olympic silver and 2 Worlds, one of which was in the Olympic year. I can't predict for how long any generation of skaters will be discussed (given availability of videos, etc., it will be longer than in the past), but I'm quite sure it is the list of Olympic champions that will stand the test of time for longer than the list of World champions. For one thing...it's must shorter a list! And why do competitors and public take Olympics so seriously if it's just another competition that is held less frequently but not different from others in any other way?
I will raise a less significant point. You say that Figure Skating is big thing in Asia. I beg to differ-I think it is big deal in three countries: China, Japan and Korea. The rest of Asia-Pacific doesn't care for it so much-which star do they have to cheer for? It certainly is not so popular in Australia. I understand that in USA, the interest in figure skating has been waning since the departure of Kwan. So one guy interviewed on American TV don't know where Yu-Na Kim is from. I hope you're not trying to tell me he/she is the representative sample in America about the knowledge of figure skating. That's not the point-what I'm saying here is that winning Olympic Gold provides possibly the best chance of having your name remembered in figure skating history (and depending on the performance, potentially even Olympic history, given figure skating's status as the original and marque Winter Olympic sport). Alternatives are having a significant period of dominance with large number of World titles and/or (preferrably AND) becoming a first competitor to perform an easily recognisable technique.
P.S. Just in case we come back to the point again, I'm not claiming that Arakawa was dominant for significant portion of her career, but that Asada hasn't been either (except 2007/2008) in career placings, and that there's not much to separate the two on that point.
I feel I have partook in this discussion far longer than I intended so this will be my last reply on this topic. I may be more interested if you want to discuss who is actually a better skater. One last thing I will say that is regardless of how you analyze the stats, Mao will still be the more memorable one in years ahead. That's something I'm willing to bet on. Her influence in Japan is only second to Midori and that's the case even after Shizuka's historical win for Japan. That really speaks for itself.
Only skating fans remember World titles, but everybody remembers who won the OGM. Arakawa was not the most memorable champion, but she did what she needed to do and her achievement should be respected.
Also, Arakawa had a memorable program in her 04 Worlds Turandot. It was her only one, but far better than any programs that Asada has shown thus far.
This IMO, should be the main criteria in evaluating career achievements rather than counting medals.
You are not the one who brought this subject about dominance to discussion, but I was addressing both you and judgejudy, as well as anyone else that may be following this thread. I don't think I am misunderstanding things-I know what you are saying about Asada having better career, etc. It all comes down to how much value one accords to OGM, since that's the only thing that is separating Arakawa and Asada at the moment-and of course you're free to disagree with importance I place on it.
There's a reason I refrained from discussing which of two skaters up for discussion-Arakawa or Asada-are better skater, in terms of program, memorable performances, techniques, etc. Such discussion is inherently biased and subjective, and has a significant possibility of descending down to a wasteful argument that I've observed in the forum time and time again. That's why I focused on only relatively objective measures (I say relative, because there's obviously disputes over worth of each achievement), namely titles, placing, margin of scores, etc.
I will leave your confident prediction about Asada's legacy in Japan in years to come to the judgement of the history. I simply gave prediction about Arakawa and Asada's potential place in history of International Figure Skating that I think is plausible (though I won't guarantee its accuracy) given historical precedents and how much stock athletes and public place on certain achievements. Hopefully you have got something out of discussion-I certainly did. Feel free to leave any other comment related to this subject-and that invitation is for everyone!