Irina carried so much speed that she is unimitable. Her upper body was so jerky, especially her arms and neck. Leonova's skating rhythm is different. She doesn't have the jerky head and arms (or Slutskaya's bouncy edges). She has far less power and doesn't mimic Irina's signature movements.
Last edited by TheIronLady; 05-31-2011 at 08:06 AM.
Aside from the fact that both have bubbly personalities, they really aren't many similarities. Irina was one of the best and the only lady who could challenge Kwan on a regular basis.
Leonova finished fourth in what was generally a poorly skated ladies free skate at Worlds. She won't do that well again unless she improves remarkably. Asada, Murakami, Makarova (sp?), Alissa are all better skaters than her and there will be more next year (i.e. Nagasu, Lepisto).
Although I appreciate Leonova's joyful expression, she is lacking in so many areas where Irina shone, particularly speed and power. I've never agreed that Irina skated like a truck driver and didn't find her upper body movements jerky. However, Leonova in my view skates like a truck driver in the sense that she is very unpolished.
What the hell is a Ninja Twizzle? Does it have anything to do with hard shelled aquatic life forms that live in the sewer?
It would be nice if Butyrskaya was idolized too. She had an interesting Russian style. Have any of the young skaters mentioned Butyrskaya as a role model?
The only thing I see Leonova having in common with Slutskaya is the lively personality on the ice. Other than that, Irina was far superior in every aspect of FS. At age 17, Irina had already landed a 3sal-3loop in a competition. I do like Leonova, but I would never compare her with Irina. Unless she makes significant strides in the next year or two, her spot on the Russian team could be in jeopardy. BTW I loved her Witches LP at the recent worlds, and there was a great shot of Irina with tears in her eyes. I think she was just happy for a fellow Russian lady.
I do miss Maria Butyrskaya because we don't hear much about her. She had a lovely, elegant, mature style. I still liked irina more though.
I did find Maria and Irina had totally different styles and strengths which is why I enjoyed their rivalry. Ivanova, Kondrashova, and Voderezova were all different from one another as well.
Makarova and Leonova are both going to have the heat on them in a big way when the current Russian juniors become age eligible.
The 3rd to 5th place performances at Worlds were in many ways better than the gold and silver. Kim not only made a slew of mistakes but looked so bored and unmotivated as if she were doing runthroughs of her program in practice, and Ando was typical Ando.
Alena's style irks me the same way Irina's style irked me. There's very little musicality in the movement, but there is an energy and happiness there that's refreshing. I can admit that Alena, by far, had the most enjoyable skate at worlds this year. Her energy and exuberance brought the house down...plus she was the only one who actually looked like they were having any fun.
Still, I can't stand her skating, especially when the judges gift her with absurdly high PCS, which she often gets. I'm glad she had such a good showing at worlds because the field will be ridiculously tough next season with many of the Russian babies being eligible for senior worlds...
But once Adelina and Liza T make the jump, forget about it...she won't stand a chance.