Agreed.That is a major part of her legacy in addition to the contributions of pushing the sport artistically, her longevity, the impact she's had on those who come after her, and her amazing success outside of skating.
Definitely agreed.Tara's legacy is she was first and foremost a competitor. Credit her with the 3lp-3lp combo and the fact that she won everything at such a young age, but I think her competitiveness was her strongest point.
Well judging only from 2003 onwards, which is the only period they were hyped as "rivals", Michelle and Sasha met 6 times in National or ISU events and it was 4-2 Michelle so fairly close. Finishing ahead 2 of the 4 times they met at Worlds (counting 2002 as well) is pretty significant IMO. Sasha also beat Michelle a couple times in cheesefests, so beat Michelle 4 times total in competition. If Sasha had not peaked vs a much older Michelle I doubt they would have ever been rivals, but as it was they were fairly competitive IMO.I'd scratch that whole "rivalry with Kwan" thing simply because it's so lopsided; Sasha beat Michelle twice in her career--finishing 2nd to Kwan's 3rd at worlds in 2004 and 2nd again to Kwan's 4th at worlds in 2005.
I do think they were rivals, if for no other reason that people got excited to see them face off and wonder who was going to win in the years after SLC. Michelle's rivalry with Irina had died off since they were never healthy and competing at the top together again, so they needed something to spark interest.
Totally agree.I'd say Sasha's legacy has high and low points. The high being she can be credited with raising the bar in terms of spins, spirals and flexibility. Her influence is seen every time someone attempts to pull their leg over their head in an I-spin. The low point of her legacy was her inability to win major titles despite the high level of her skating and her inability to skate clean programs back to back at major events.
Agreed. Although I do think she is the best triple-triple jumper ever. Tara was amazing in her ability to do so many but they werent of the same quality. Midori could probably do even better ones, but she didnt do nearly as many of them since it wasnt that important then.Agreed, though I'd say "if not the best, most consistent triple-triple jumper ever seen." I'd also add to that that Yu-Na will be remembered for her speed and excellent technique, as well as being the record holder in terms of CoP.
I agree but she isnt really appreciated for those things as much as she should be.Also I think Mao will be remembered in terms of her style: the graceful, floaty, ethereal qualities she possesses that I have never seen before.
Surya Bonaly - For being a rebel on the ice in pretty every respect from not wearing tights to taking off her medal at 1994 Worlds. And of course the FU backflip and landing with her back to the judges in Nagano. For not only being the first woman to do the backflip, but the only one, male or female, to land it on one foot AND sometimes to a triple sal straight out of it. For her wild and colorful costumes, interesting music choices, her fearlessness in trying all kind of different jumps and combinations, variations on spins and spirals, and coming back from an achilles tendon injury. For all the crazy stories about her mom and her being an orphan from reunion island. Plus she is a world junior champion in two sports, figure skating in 1991 and World Junior Tumbling Champion in 1986.
Totmianina/Marinin - Truly one of the most complete and rock solid pairs of all time. Amazing jumpers. I don't remember her ever missing a throw and they landed their sbs jumps 99% of the time too - all the more impressive since they were the first pair to do two different sets of triples in an LP. In the athletic sense, IMO their Olympic programs would rank #1 of all time - they had the most difficult program jumpwise of any Olympic champions, and had high level and well performed non-jump elements (were not able to slack off on elements they didn't like due to CoP), and they did it all with the grace and basic skating skills you expect from the Russian pairs. And of course there is her amazing comeback from her head injury, and never losing a competition after that fall.
Phillipe Candeloro - Most creative and for me the most entertaining skater of all time. He did a four-part Godfather program! He actually went to a fencer to choreograph the footwork for his D'Artagnan LP. He regularly had his music composed especially for him. He portrayed strong, historic figures like Napoleon, but he could also do silly stuff like his Spaghetti Western LP or George of the Jungle. Of course his other legacy is being a ham, going into the audience, and stripping. Definitely one of the biggest crowd pleasers in skating.
Grishuk & Platov - The best technique, speed, and edges ever in ice dancing. Very versatile dancers who started their career doing cheesy folk dances, then moving into stuff like the 92 Robots FD, St James Infirmary blues, a couple of years of ballroom stuff, and finally a voidy period with The Feeling Begins and Memorial - they truly represented all styles of ice dance in their careers (and IMO are mischaracterized as overly theatrical by many). Pulling off one of the biggest upsets in ice dance history to defeat reigning world champs U&Z and reigning European champs/previous OGMs T&D, then going unbeaten for four seasons and never relinquishing their crown (with injuries and age working against them). And they did all that while creating the most entertaining off ice drama ever, with all of their affairs and near-splitups, her changing her name so she would not be affiliated with the creeeemeeeenal Oksana Baiul, and of course the lavender skates and Marilyn Monroe happy birthday video. Last but not least, for bringing us one of the greatest FSU posters, esta.
Lobacheva/Averbukh - Being the Jesus people with their 98 FD to JCS, and always courting controversy with their costumes and music choices and the color streaks in Irina's hair.
Elena Liashenko - For making it ok to skip the triple loop! For having amazing longevity and actually getting better with age and adapting well to CoP. For winning bronze medals at Euros 10 years apart (1995 & 2005 plus silver in 2004).
Katarina Witt - For being a true movie star on the ice. Not only did she have one of the most successful careers medalwise, but she brought ladies' skating into the 21st century. She could be a bombshell but she could also portray a masculine character like Robin Hood and then make you cry with her tribute to Sarajevo. For her humility in returning for the 1994 Olympics, with zero hope for a medal, just so she could skate for a unified Germany and have her parents in the audience for the first time.
Chait & Sakhnovsky - For incredible improvement in their basic skating over the years and staying classy amidst major unwarranted hate and the petition against them.
Navka & Kostomarov - For the sexy posing! And the headbands. And the sex scandals.
Alexander Abt - For the most gorgeous sweeping edges in skating, overcoming crazy injuries, and having the most wasted potential in skating ever (personal life as well as on the ice).
Ilia Klimkin - For being a sensitive arteeste on the ice and inventing amazing moves like the camel spin into the 3sal, and bringing back classics like the cantilever.
Nice list, Cherub!
Yes, Surya brought a lot to the sport where ladies were supposed to be pretty dolls. Her one foot landings on the backflip were amazing. She was a very entertaining show skater and she always excited the crowd.
Totmianina-Marinin: Although many posters here found them boring, I am happy that you mentioned them. I think in their entire competitive career, they missed a throw just once, and it was shocking when it happened (I think it was a competition in Russia, but I am not sure) because she had never missed a throw. She had one of the most secure edges (may be even The most secure edge) on her landings of the throws. I liked this team as soon as I saw them at the 2001 worlds practice session. I was happy that they developed into Olympic champions. After the 2006 Olympics they skated exhibitions that were very demanding technically and they had developed passion in their skating too. I wish they had been around longer.
Totmianina & Marinin are another underappreciated pair. People call them boring, lacking in chemistry and magic, not very emotional, which some of is true to a degree. However one should also appreciate all the excellent things about the pair, that they are one of the most consistent and precise technical pairs ever, that they always did programs loaded with very high content, their impeccable unision, their outstanding basic skating quality, their beautiful lines, the way their choreography, movements, and body language went perfectly to the phrasing of the music even if the facial expressions werent always there.
People also talk about them winning the Olympics only because Shen & Zhou were injured yet forget Totmianina & Marinin had a winning record vs Shen & Zhou in 03-04 when both were healthy and in their primes, that is without even counting their sound defeat at the 06 Olympics when coming back from injury. A totally clean S&Z probably beat T&M, but T&M have a big edge in consistency over S&Z or anyone else as they are one of the most consistent pairs of all time. S&Z had to skate cleanly to beat a clean T&M, and they more often than not dont skate totally clean, which explains the losing record when both were in their primes. Not to mention whereas Totmianina & Marinin won their Olympic Gold by 15 points, Shen & Zhou barely on their gold by a couple points over Pang & Tong, and lost the LP to Pang & Tong. Pang & Tong btw finished a whopping 18 points behind Totmianina & Marinin in Turin and did not medal, despite skating close to clean there as well. Neither the 06 or 2010 events were exceptional overall, but safe to say Totmianina & Marinin from Turin would have beaten any pair of Olympic performances ever done by Shen & Zhou.
BTW their artristry and facial expression which is oh so important in pairs skating has really improved when they turned pros. So it could be great to see them ipmroved in this aspect skating in Vancouver.
Plus if there is any doubt on T/M victory over S/Z in 2006 due to the injury of the latter, then I'd say that in 2010 and for the most part of 2006-2010 quadrennial S/S were the best and most innovative pair in the world. They had the best choreo, best programs and highest difficulty with great execution on most element. It is only due to their nerves that they lost those Games. What S/Z showed was soooo obsolete (still deserving respect considering their age).
It could be my dream come true to see T/M and S/S skate in 2010, both so different but great.
I loved T&M's 'Color of the night' and 'Phantom of the opera' pro routines. They had it all by that time- technical difficulty and emotion.
Adding to this, T/M also had numerous injuries and had to recover and build their training schedule accordingly throughout their career. Its only their SA fall that drew attention to them, but just for a record – Tatiana has injured her hand (if I’m not mistaken it was even a fracture) back in 2003, and she skated the first part of 2003-2004 with bandage, she also hurt her knee in 2002-2003 and also skated with bandage, she had a chronical disease (gall-bladder problems) throughout her career, and Maxim had to literally carry her from the ice at 2004 Nats because she skated through terrible pain; they both had flu and skated at Lalique in 2004 – showing the worst skate of their career and losing gold to Z/Z… So it’s not just if only internet sweethearts (I liked this expression of someone here ) have injuries.
What also amazes me in their story is their relationship with coach (of course Vasiliev and Morozov and the likes are , and....).
They set their goal. They had 4-5 years, and they fulfilled their plan – nor less nor more. It’s a perfect combination of wise coaching, determination and passion which led them to success.
They deserve my entire respect for setting a goal and achieving it, without retirements, comebacks, and relying on injuries, love stories, etc…. And they were far from being a one-two successful seasons wonders (Lipinski, Hughes), and in 99% won their medals fair and square w/o even needing politicking (unlike S/P who also rose to fame in very short time).
Here I’ll stop my T/M rant, sorry
"If I agree well it's just to appease you 'cause I don't remember what were fighting for..." - Sarah McLachlan
And then there is the time at 2002 Worlds where Max' sleeve caught on Tatiana's skate.
Another thing I respect about T&M is how adult they were in their relationships. I love drama (see my post on G&P ) but it's really impressive how they maintained a strong working relationship despite her dating the coach for all those years, especially after seeing how it destroyed Mukhortova/Trankov.
Dick Button--first double axel in competition; first triple loop.