View Poll Results: Who has been the best since Katarina Witt retired

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  • Mao Asada

    28 6.88%
  • Oksana Baiul

    1 0.25%
  • Midori Ito

    18 4.42%
  • Michelle Kwan

    176 43.24%
  • Tara Lipinski

    2 0.49%
  • Irina Slutskaya

    17 4.18%
  • Kristi Yamaguchi

    11 2.70%
  • Kim Yu Na

    143 35.14%
  • Sasha Cohen

    2 0.49%
  • Shizuka Arakawa

    7 1.72%
  • Sarah Hughes

    1 0.25%
  • Other

    1 0.25%
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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    I don't think she has moved ladies skating to new level in terms of aesthetics. In fact, I don't think anyone has managed to do that since Michelle Kwan.
    Again, even the tiniest bit of explanation along with the declarative statement would really help people like me in both comprehension and discussion. Otherwise, I feel like a yeshiva student struggling with his exegesis.

    In my view, what causes a Michelle Kwan to say that Yuna has "changed the face of figure skating" is that she is perhaps the first (but not, I think the last) ladies skater to have successfully juggled the arcane COP equation such that the outcome approaches maximization of the current physical/technical potential (as codified in the technical score) without sacrificing a truly high artistic level.

    IMO, attempting to strain out and isolate overall artistic quality (as opposed to comparison of individual elements or skills, which haven't changed) specifically to make valuative comparisons with skaters who performed under different conceptual regimes (eg 6.0) is difficult at best, and wildly misleading at worst.

    It would be akin to taking two athletes, putting 20 pound weights on the legs of one while hanging them to the wrists of the other. Relatively speaking, the former won't run as fast, and the latter wouldn't make a good boxer. In my view, it is equally erroneous to say, on the one hand, that Michelle didn't have it in her to jump great 3-3s as it is to say that Yuna's artistic achievements cannot at least be compared to Michelle's if, in some figure skating heaven, we could see both at their peaks and training and performing under the same parameters.

  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakewood View Post
    YuNa amalgamated aestics and athleticism into one, which is a new level that didn't exist in ladies skating before her.
    Excellently said! That was what I was trying to say but you said it much better, thank you.

  3. #83
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    Wow at how much Yuna's votes shot up overnight!

    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    Again, even the tiniest bit of explanation along with the declarative statement would really help people like me in both comprehension and discussion. Otherwise, I feel like a yeshiva student struggling with his exegesis.
    It's a declarative statement out of personal opinion, which I don't think I need to elaborate on. And eloquence doesn't necessarily erase subjectivity, since all posts here are essentially opinions.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    She could also work on her musicality too.
    One of the most repeated compliments on Yuna is her musicality.

    Seriously?!

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by miki88 View Post
    Wow at how much Yuna's votes shot up overnight!



    It's a declarative statement out of personal opinion, which I don't think I need to elaborate on. And eloquence doesn't necessarily erase subjectivity, since all posts here are essentially opinions.
    I would never dispute your right to post whatever pleases you, madame .

    But if all is subjective, and simple declaration the norm, wouldn't posts merely be an exercise in talking to (and about) ourselves?

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
    One of the most repeated compliments on Yuna is her musicality.

    Seriously?!
    Yes. Yun could definitely work more on her interpretation and feeling of the music. Yuna's Olympic LP was a snooze. Her Schez was pleasant but nothing memorable, inspite of the praise that Sandra Bezic heaped on it; Not sure what Sandra was smoking.

    Yuna has some nice programs in the past. I liked her Bond SP. But I think her nice programs are just that: very nice, very pleasant to watch, but nothing that made me stand up and go "WoW!".

  7. #87
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    Kim hasn't dominated skating like Kwan did in her heydey or for nearly as long. Plus Kwan could be counted to skate clean in almost every event she was in. Kim has skated clean once i believe at the Olympics but otherwise she's not nearly as consistent as Michelle was.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    To be great you have to be revolutionary.
    To me, a great skater is simply a skater I enjoy watching over and over without getting bored. No completely new type of jump for instance Elvis Stojko would have been able to come up with would have made me fall in love with his skating and call it great skating.

  9. #89
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    Love Michelle !!

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Yes. Yun could definitely work more on her interpretation and feeling of the music. Yuna's Olympic LP was a snooze. Her Schez was pleasant but nothing memorable, inspite of the praise that Sandra Bezic heaped on it; Not sure what Sandra was smoking.

    Yuna has some nice programs in the past. I liked her Bond SP. But I think her nice programs are just that: very nice, very pleasant to watch, but nothing that made me stand up and go "WoW!".
    Everybody has his/her taste. Fortunately, there are many skating fans who were extremely enthusiastic with YuNa's performances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Kim hasn't dominated skating like Kwan did in her heydey or for nearly as long. Plus Kwan could be counted to skate clean in almost every event she was in. Kim has skated clean once i believe at the Olympics but otherwise she's not nearly as consistent as Michelle was.
    Kwan skated in the era when skating clean was most important to winning and YuNa skates in the era when obtaining points is most important to winning. Both did what they should do to win. YuNa hasn't skated clean as many times as Kwan did, but Kwan never jumped as high as YuNa does.
    Last edited by lakewood; 03-26-2011 at 04:47 PM.

  11. #91
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    I don't like when questions like these are put into polls. If it were purely discussion by open and fair-minded, knowledgeable skating fans, there should be a near-consensus that Michelle has been the best woman in the history of this sport. No offense to some of the other skaters who I like and respect very much. In fact, Yu-Na Kim is one of my favorite current skaters, but I don't think she can compare to Michelle Kwan yet.

    It is fair to say that Michelle Kwan trained and grew up in perhaps the finest environment for skating. As a child, she learned and trained figures, the results of which show in the rhythm in her stroking and the precision in her blades. She then competed under a judging system that allowed for more artistic creativity than the IJS, and she flourished. Her portfolio of quality performances is unmatched (and clean skates always matter in figure skating. Michelle had incredible nerves.) At this point, I don't think it's a mere matter of opinion.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by giselle23 View Post
    It's interesting that three Olympic gold medalists ('94, '98, '02) are the zero vote-getters.
    I think this is expected. None of these skaters have longevity, and I think most want that before they can label a skater "the best".

    Chen Lu is the epitome for me. She was artistic, lyrical, gorgeous to watch, and I loved her delayed-rotation jumps. But I think Michelle Kwan deserves the "best" title. She had the overall package, the fierce competitiveness, the consistency, and the longevity.

    Oh, wanted to add that I don't follow FS like I used to, so don't know much about post-2002 skaters.

  13. #93
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    Interesting to watch the poll evolve.
    Last edited by jatale; 03-26-2011 at 07:59 PM.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    Yes. Yun could definitely work more on her interpretation and feeling of the music. Yuna's Olympic LP was a snooze. Her Schez was pleasant but nothing memorable, inspite of the praise that Sandra Bezic heaped on it; Not sure what Sandra was smoking.

    Yuna has some nice programs in the past. I liked her Bond SP. But I think her nice programs are just that: very nice, very pleasant to watch, but nothing that made me stand up and go "WoW!".
    Musicality is not an all-encompassing, catch-all concept, and is not the same as interpretation or expressiveness, although in practice there is a certain amount of overlap in the assessment of these qualities.

    To give a non-skating example, there are many who rave about Glenn Gould's unusual (especially for his time) interpretation of Bach's Goldberg Variations (I'm one of them), and equally many who thought they were a travesty, although my sense is that the latter group has diminished over time. Nevertheless, no one knowledgeable about music would question his musicality, whose characteristics and criteria are more "technical" in nature, which I defined in an earlier post.

    You obviously have your own view on the interpretive aspects of Yuna's performances. While I disagree, I won't debate you on it (inasmuch as I've already provided my own views at some length a while back). But with regard to musicality, it's pretty clear that Yuna has it in spades. I doubt that you'll find very many figure skating professionals of any prominence, whether they be skaters, coaches or judges, who say that she doesn't.

  15. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by jatale View Post
    Interesting to watch the poll evolve.
    I know! Oksana, Tara, and Sarah all finally got a vote!
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  16. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I know! Oksana, Tara, and Sarah all finally got a vote!
    LOL, and now, I wonder who has voted for Baiul !

  17. #97
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    If Yuna Kim and Michelle Kwan had competed head to head, Yuna would win under CoP. Likewise, Michelle would get the upper hand under 6.0 with her consistency and abilities to perform clean skates under pressure.

    One thing for sure, is that both girls have tremendous amount of mutual respect, and fully support each other.

  18. #98
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    Glad to see the two of my all-time favorites are leading the poll. And it’s wonderful that Michelle has been such a good influence on Yu-Na over the years. In her autobiographical essays published two years ago, Yu-Na recalls her first encounter with the (televised) performance of Michelle at Nagano Olympics: “It was the moment the dream of being a figure skater, which was a vague notion for me at the time, took a tangible, concrete form. For the first time, I had a role model, somebody I wanted to resemble.”

    I remain hopeful of seeing Michelle, Yu-Na and their friends skate in Pyeongyang someday when circumstances ripen, having an ice show that would break the ice, symbolically. There have been some sporadic reports that the underwater progress is being made to work out the conditions and agenda for resuming the six-party talks on North Korea. North Korea is dying to improve the relations with the US and embark on its own controlled economic development program, following China’s lead. And a group of North Korean officials is currently visiting the US to attend the seminars on capitalistic economy.

    It would be epic to see Michelle, a US Goodwill Ambassador, and her fellow American skaters along with the North Korean skaters, on the same ice, and Yu-Na skate to her Arirang, in Pyeongyang.

  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by jatale View Post
    I kind of agree, but it depends on what qualifies as a "revolution". Which skaters do you think "revolutionized" the sport and why? The one skater I can think of who clearly "revolutionized" skating was Dick Button, who else? Does just introducing a new jump qualify as a revolution? I don't think so. I don't think a skater needs to change the sport in some fundamental way (which is what the term "revolution" normally means) to be great. It seems to me that to be "great" a skater needs to both move the sport to a new level and be a successful competitor too. Dick Button clearly was both.
    You need to read up on Sonja Henie. Youngest ever Olympic FS competitor at 11, first to skate in short skirts, first to skate in white boots, 3-time OGM, 10-time WC, 6-time EC, she also won several Norwegian pairs championships. She also was the first OGM to have a successful professional career, in the form of her touring ice show, and her movies, which put her 2nd behind Shirley Temple as the biggest box office draw of her day.

    Seeing her in the movies was undoubtedly one of the reasons why so many from the "Golden Age of US Skating" got into skating in the first place. There was no TV in the sense it is today (although TV did exist - the first ever station is in my area), so seeing one of her movies would be the only way for someone at that time to be able to see an OGM skate.

  20. #100
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    Who is the best?

    1 JUMPS : Yuna
    2 STEP SEQUENCE : Yuna
    3 SPIRALS : Sasha
    4 SPINS : Sasha, Yuna
    5 EXPRESSION : Yuna
    6 MUSICALITY : Yuna
    7 ACTING : Yuna
    8 BODY : Yuna
    9 FACE : Yuna, Mao, Sasha
    10 OVERALL : Yuna, Mao, Kristi in that sequence.

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