How would you rate the 1 time World or Olympic Champions from best to least great. Here would be my order:
1. Midori Ito- a travesty she only won 1 World or Olympic Gold. A victim of figures, bad luck, injuries, bad timing.
2. Denise Biellmann- would have been the dominant skater for a long time had it not been for figures and her early retirement. Would have been the 1980 Olympic Champion in 1980 at only 17 without figures.
3. Lu Chen- one of the most stunning artistic skaters in recent memory and a very strong jumper too. Was robbed of winning more than 1 major title by judging mostly.
4. Debi Thomas- was a very strong force and part of a famous rivalry to Witt. Very strong all around skater with excellent figures, very strong jumps and elements for the time, and very good line and basic skating.
5. Yuka Sato- just since she was such an outstanding pro skater, one of the best of all time. Not as great an amateur skater so hard to rank her accurately.
6. Rosalynn Sumners- went into the Olympics the year after winning as favorite and narrowly missed winning. 3 time U.S Champion.
7. Karen Magnussen- Olympic silver and World silver the year before winning.
8. Maria Butyrskaya- was near the top a long time but not a huge threat to the big guns of her era. And didnt really do anything that made a huge impact on the sport. Won in weak transition era with so top skaters in field other than Butyrskaya and Kwan. Had chance to defend next year but blew it and never came close thereafter nor before. Never won Olympic medal but narrowly missed in 1998. I ranked her over Elaine only since she had a better shot of winning a 2nd World title in 2000 then Elaine ever really had, and both had forgettable pro careers.
9. Elaine Zayak- was a trailblazer in her early years. Her overall competitive record isnt as strong as some others and unfortunately her pro career was a dissapointment. I think she was very underrated at times by judges in 83 and 84. On the other hand I am also not as much on her bandwagon as some others on this forum. I dont think she was the best all around skater of the 80s or anything as some seem to think.
10. Christine Errath- since others seem to think highly of her skating and I havent seen that many of her performances I will give her the benefit of doubt and move her up.
11. Petra Burka- dont know much about her. First women to do a triple jump.
12. Sarah Hughes- was consistent for several years, flaws aside, and did win the Olympics as her lone major title.
13. Jill Trenary- not sure where to rank her. An elegant and stylish skating with strong figures and capable but inconsistent jumps. She didnt exactly give an extremely inspired competition to win her only major title like Sarah Hughes though so I decided to slot her below. She won 3 U.S titles but she didnt face Kwan at Nationals like Hughes did.
14. Miki Ando- only one other World bronze and an GP silver to show from remainder of her career so far. I openly admit I do not like her skating and find her very overrated.
15. Dianne DeLeeuw- a gangly stork on the ice with no grace and small awkward jumps. She was good in figures and a good competitor.
16. Kimmie Meissner- I hate to say it especialy as I like Kimmie but isnt it obvious by now it was one of the flukes in history probably.
1. Brian Orser- Just incredible he won only 1 major title. An injustice of sorts looking at his overall career even if the actual result in each case was probably right via the rules and performances.
2. Robin Cousins- would have been a dominant skater and won so many major titles without figures. Nobody could touch him in free skating in his era.
3. Daisuke Takahashi- such a talented skater. I guess he could win again but seeing his performances this year I doubt it.
4. Ilia Kulik- also an incredible skater even with the Olympic Gold as his only major victory.
5. Brian Joubert- very consistent skater with good longevity.
6. Alexander Fadeev- had a chance to win multiple World titles for sure. Only had to stay on his feet and turn in something semi respectable to have defended his title in 1986. His career fizzled out as it went and every hint of a resurgence was quickly snuffed out.
7. Charlie Tickner- very nice skater. Was one of several guys fighting for big titles in a very competitive era. Had tough competition with Cousins the Worlds dominant free skater, Hoffman the figures expert and great jumper, and Kovalev the figures expert.
8. Jeff Buttle- wonderful skater who I loved to watch. A fine career with some other nice achievements. Inconsistent jumper who did one of his only ever clean competitions to win Worlds, and never a dominant skater or close to it.
9. Wolfgang Schwarz- 2nd almost his whole career but won the big one at the Olympics. Barely won that though. Dont know much about him.
10. Alexei Urmanov- an accidental Olympic winner who never really followed up his big victory. Did win both Europeans and the Grand Prix final in his career. Might have won the 97 Worlds had he been able to skate the long program.
11. Todd Eldredge- he wasnt my cup of tea but a very good career. Could only win in his time when the big guns fell apart.
12. Sergei Volkov- yuck, and yes I have seen him skate unfortunately.
1. Underhill & Martini- their pro careers solidified their greatness as a pairs team. As did their performances at the 83 and 84 Worlds as amateurs.
2. Brasseur & Eisler- honestly I find their are a lack of good options in the pairs discipline unlike the others.
3. Shishkova & Naumov- very underrated and unlucky team.
4. Babiloni & Gardner- beautiful and very pleasant pair but fortunate to win in a year the dominant team took a pregnancy leave.
5. Baess & Theirbach- one of the dominant teams of the 81-84 quad, surprisingly missed the medals at the 84 Olympics. Very athletic team for the time.
6. Kazahkova & Dmitriev- they never really excited me the way M&D did together. And they were inconsistent most of their relatively short amateur careers. Still definitely deserved the Oly Gold in 98.
7. Petrova & Tikhonov- great longevity and consistency. 8 straight top 4 finishes at Worlds.
8. Kovarikova & Novotny- very elegant and artistic team but very inconsistent.
9. Eltsova & Bushkov- zzzzzz
10. Marina Cherkasova & Sergei Shakhrai- won Olympic silver after Babilonia & Gardner withdrew, then World gold after Rodnina & Zaitsev also took a pass on a final Worlds. Had a quad twist at one point I believe. A ragdoll team who dissapeared quickly once she grew.
11. Woetzel & Steuer- cant believe they won a Worlds. Were lucky to peak in such a weak and open couple years for pairs.
12. Vorobieva & Lisovski- who!?!? Looking at their competitive record their win appears to be just a stopgap in a vacant year.
1. Usova & Zhulin- unlucky to lose out on close decisions at 91 Worlds and 94 Olympics. Competed in tough era with Klimova & Ponomarenko, Duchensays, and Gritschuk & Platov.
2. Recogzy & Sallay- very good team, many thought should have won the 1980 Olympics right before their only World title.
3. Duchensays- they were certainly memorable if not technically the best.
4. Bourne & Kraatz- they never appealed much to me but they have 6 World medals.
5. Delobel & Schoenfelder- strong technical and polished team with some bad luck in their careers. Still World title is only World or Olympic medal. Have Grand Prix final and European titles though.
6. Fusar Poli & Margalio- she was a very good dancer.
7. Lobacheva & Averbuhk- never liked them. They had good ODs though, rarely if ever a memorable FD.
8. Domnina & Shabalin- they were already past their prime due to injuries when they won their World title.