View Poll Results: Who was the greatest MEN's singles figure skater never to become Olympic champion?

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  • Kurt Browning

    196 60.12%
  • Jeff Buttle

    3 0.92%
  • Toller Cranston

    11 3.37%
  • Brian Orser

    28 8.59%
  • Elvis Stojko

    6 1.84%
  • Brian Joubert

    6 1.84%
  • Stephane Lambiel

    48 14.72%
  • Todd Eldredge

    9 2.76%
  • Daisuke Takahashi

    13 3.99%
  • Other, please name!

    6 1.84%
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  1. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I'm just curious, for people who voted for Kurt, are you going by his resume, or did you actually watch his skating? I've never seen a clean LP by Kurt Browning, and I can't remember him doing a 3lutz in a major competition either...
    You are right about the 3lutz. I think he tried it in the 1992 Olympics, but don't remember if he landed it cleanly.

    Kurt did skate clean LPs many times, IIRC- occasionally with very minor flaw.

    Worlds 1988- his only flaw was a turnout on the landing of the quad toe (first ever in world championships), which was ratified.

    Worlds 1989- He two footed the quad, but rest of the program was clean.

    Worlds 1990- I believe this was clean. I remember that Viktor Petrenko had a strong skate with a 3A-3t combination, but Kurt skated better.

    Worlds 1991- I believe this was clean. His main rival Petrenko had a wonderful skate, with just one mistake, and although I thought Petrenko should have won, I could see why Kurt won.

    I don't remember the GPs at all. He did not skate clean LPs in the 1992 & 1994 Olympics, and I don't remember the 1988 Olys. So if you meant the Olympics by "major competition", your statement is correct.

    As a 4 time world champion, I think it is reasonable to say that he was the greatest man to never win the OGM, although my vote went to Brian Orser because he was Oh so Close both times to the OGM.

    I think Kurt is a great skater, who really developed his artistry in 1993 and later as a pro he was one of the best artistic skaters. He had wonderful footwork, probably the best among singles men. However, I must admit that I am a little surprised by how many more votes he got compared to Orser, Stojko or Lambiel.

  2. #122
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    Kurt did triple lutz at the 1992 Worlds:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_GCcnO0u6s

  3. #123
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    Fritz Kachler

    He never even competed at the Olympics, but between 1910 and 1925, he won three golds, three silvers, and a bronze at Worlds. Given that the competition was not held during seven of those years and he didn't participate in 1924, his record is phenomenal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Kachler
    Last edited by Vagabond; 10-17-2011 at 08:11 AM.

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I'm just curious, for people who voted for Kurt, are you going by his resume, or did you actually watch his skating? I've never seen a clean LP by Kurt Browning, and I can't remember him doing a 3lutz in a major competition either...

    He is a 4-time World champion and deserved any of his titles.
    He was the current World champ entering both 1992 and 1994 Olympics. He is the only skater to have won with and without Figures. That shows his qualities.
    He was technically very good (at 1991 Worlds, he won with three different 3/3 combos), and artistically very entertaining. His programs in 1994 were very interesting and well choreographed.
    So, it's not absurd to imagine him as an Olympic Gold medalist. And it's not surprising that he is leading this poll.
    (btw, 1991 Worlds LP was clean and 1993 Worlds LP almost clean with a 2-footed 3Lutz)

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    You are right about the 3lutz. I think he tried it in the 1992 Olympics, but don't remember if he landed it cleanly.

    Kurt did skate clean LPs many times, IIRC- occasionally with very minor flaw.

    Worlds 1988- his only flaw was a turnout on the landing of the quad toe (first ever in world championships), which was ratified. Two-footed his 3sal at the end, and possibly his second 2a in a series.

    Worlds 1989- He two footed the quad, but rest of the program was clean.Had a step out on a 3A also.

    Worlds 1990- I believe this was clean. I remember that Viktor Petrenko had a strong skate with a 3A-3t combination, but Kurt skated better. Again, Kurt stepped out of a 3A.

    Worlds 1991- I believe this was clean. His main rival Petrenko had a wonderful skate, with just one mistake, and although I thought Petrenko should have won, I could see why Kurt won. I think this was probably the closest, but he two-footed the 3toe in his opening combination.

    I don't remember the GPs at all. He did not skate clean LPs in the 1992 & 1994 Olympics, and I don't remember the 1988 Olys. So if you meant the Olympics by "major competition", your statement is correct.

    As a 4 time world champion, I think it is reasonable to say that he was the greatest man to never win the OGM, although my vote went to Brian Orser because he was Oh so Close both times to the OGM.

    I think Kurt is a great skater, who really developed his artistry in 1993 and later as a pro he was one of the best artistic skaters. He had wonderful footwork, probably the best among singles men. However, I must admit that I am a little surprised by how many more votes he got compared to Orser, Stojko or Lambiel.
    I know I probably sound like a hater, but when I think of Browning, I usually think luck had a lot to do with his titles since he was usually the best of the mediocre, in a time where men's skating was in a slump and nobody was pulling off clean skates. Even without the 3lutz (except 92), which all of the other men were doing, Kurt was still not able to produce a squeaky clean free skate during his entire career. His sit spin positions also make me

  6. #126
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    Oops! Wrong thread. Please delete

  7. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I know I probably sound like a hater, but when I think of Browning, I usually think luck had a lot to do with his titles since he was usually the best of the mediocre, in a time where men's skating was in a slump and nobody was pulling off clean skates. Even without the 3lutz (except 92), which all of the other men were doing, Kurt was still not able to produce a squeaky clean free skate during his entire career. His sit spin positions also make me

    A step out of one triple jump in a 4.5 minute program is a pretty minor error.

    I have to disagree that mens skating was in a slump at that time. After every Olympics, some skaters retire/turn pro and there is a drop off in the world championships in the year following the Olympic year, but it picks up as we progress to the next Olympics. In 1989 Kurt had a more technically challening SP and LP than the 1988 Olympic champion (he had two 3A's in his SP, and a quad in his LP). His rival Viktor Petrenko was the reigning Olympic bronze medallist. Fadeev was a past world champion, and Chris Bowman seemed to be coming into his own. That was hardly a weak field of men. Going forward, Viktor was Kurt's main competition, and before Viktor no other man had landed a 3A3t in combination. In the past the men were all doing 3A-2t, and Boitano was the only one doing a 3-3 combination. Kurt was doing two 3-3 combinations (and a quad in 1989) in his LP. Bowman destroyed himself, but talent wise he was right up there until 1990. Todd Eldredge appeared on the scene and he too was doing a 3A3t combination. So I don't see this as a weak field at all.

    Now if you want to compare them with the future skaters, obviously that's going to appear weak. After 1992 & 1993 Elvis Stojko and the quad came into play and with the rise of the young Russians- Kulik, Yagudin, Plushenko the technical difficulty became much higher. I see this as forward progress, and not as Kurt being 'lucky' in a weak field.

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    A step out of one triple jump in a 4.5 minute program is a pretty minor error.

    I have to disagree that mens skating was in a slump at that time. After every Olympics, some skaters retire/turn pro and there is a drop off in the world championships in the year following the Olympic year, but it picks up as we progress to the next Olympics. In 1989 Kurt had a more technically challening SP and LP than the 1988 Olympic champion (he had two 3A's in his SP, and a quad in his LP). His rival Viktor Petrenko was the reigning Olympic bronze medallist. Fadeev was a past world champion, and Chris Bowman seemed to be coming into his own. That was hardly a weak field of men. Going forward, Viktor was Kurt's main competition, and before Viktor no other man had landed a 3A3t in combination. In the past the men were all doing 3A-2t, and Boitano was the only one doing a 3-3 combination. Kurt was doing two 3-3 combinations (and a quad in 1989) in his LP. Bowman destroyed himself, but talent wise he was right up there until 1990. Todd Eldredge appeared on the scene and he too was doing a 3A3t combination. So I don't see this as a weak field at all.

    Now if you want to compare them with the future skaters, obviously that's going to appear weak. After 1992 & 1993 Elvis Stojko and the quad came into play and with the rise of the young Russians- Kulik, Yagudin, Plushenko the technical difficulty became much higher. I see this as forward progress, and not as Kurt being 'lucky' in a weak field.
    That's a fair point of view. It's just that to me, when I think of a great skater, I factor in their performances and look for the times when they rose to the occasion and delivered all of their planned elements. With Kurt, I see a passion, but I also see a lot of rough or sloppy patches. He was a good skater, I just don't think he ever reached his full potential. 91 is probably the closest.

  9. #129
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    "
    Worlds 1991- I believe this was clean. His main rival Petrenko had a wonderful skate, with just one mistake, and although I thought Petrenko should have won, I could see why Kurt won. I think this was probably the closest, but he two-footed the 3toe in his opening combination."

    1991 Worlds was a great event. However, Kurt badly 2-footed the 3toe on his 3axel combo, the second 3/3 was a 3flip-3toe but the 3toe did not count because he already did two 3toes (he 3'd out of his 4T attempt). The ONLY thing Viktor needed to win was that opening 3A-3T but he doubled out of the 3T. By far Viktor was better on everything else, and had great musicality and this was the only time I liked or appreciated this program. When I just rewatched it and heard the opening bars I wanted to scream because he used that program for THREE years. I can still see Viktor winning, but IMO he needed at least one 3/3 to offset the THREE that Kurt landed, even if they were two-footed or didn't count.

  10. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post
    "
    Worlds 1991- I believe this was clean. His main rival Petrenko had a wonderful skate, with just one mistake, and although I thought Petrenko should have won, I could see why Kurt won. I think this was probably the closest, but he two-footed the 3toe in his opening combination."

    1991 Worlds was a great event. However, Kurt badly 2-footed the 3toe on his 3axel combo, the second 3/3 was a 3flip-3toe but the 3toe did not count because he already did two 3toes (he 3'd out of his 4T attempt). The ONLY thing Viktor needed to win was that opening 3A-3T but he doubled out of the 3T. By far Viktor was better on everything else, and had great musicality and this was the only time I liked or appreciated this program. When I just rewatched it and heard the opening bars I wanted to scream because he used that program for THREE years. I can still see Viktor winning, but IMO he needed at least one 3/3 to offset the THREE that Kurt landed, even if they were two-footed or didn't count.
    1991 worlds was the second time Viktor used that program, and it was much better the second time. Artistically he was far superior to Kurt at that point and should have won on those marks. In the 1992 Olympics he used the same program for the 3rd time and that was too much, but I think in 1991 it was perfectly acceptable. BTW I really like that program; better than the La Traviatta (not sure about this) he skated to in the 94 Olympics, even though he skated extremely well (doubled one triple, but otherwise very good). Back to Kurt- somehow in the Olympics he just could not deliver. In 92 he was coming back from an injury, but in 94 he should have skated a clean SP, which would have placed him in OGM contention, since both Viktor and Brian made major mistakes in their SPs. Kurt just gave up when he fell on the 3f in the SP. I don't know why he did not try at at least fight through it. There were many skaters yet to come, and they could have made mistakes too (they did not).

  11. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    I know I probably sound like a hater, but when I think of Browning, I usually think luck had a lot to do with his titles since he was usually the best of the mediocre, in a time where men's skating was in a slump and nobody was pulling off clean skates. Even without the 3lutz (except 92), which all of the other men were doing, Kurt was still not able to produce a squeaky clean free skate during his entire career. His sit spin positions also make me
    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I have to disagree that mens skating was in a slump at that time. After every Olympics, some skaters retire/turn pro and there is a drop off in the world championships in the year following the Olympic year, but it picks up as we progress to the next Olympics.
    I would also disagree. Certainly there were other talented skaters who didn't live up to their potential during the 1989-94 period (Bowman, Petrenko, Barna, Wylie, Mitchell; young Eldredge, Stojko, Urmanov, Zagorodniuk, Candeloro...). Of those, Browning was the most consistent at Worlds during that period.

    He also had a lot more technical content in his program than just jumps, so he could afford a mistake on a jump or two that many of the others could not afford. (I think that's the biggest difference between Browning and Petrenko, since Petrenko seemed to have a better run of the blade.)

    The other thing about Browning and about that era is that it was a transitional period between competition with and without figures; Browning is the only singles skater to win world titles both with and without, which gives him a unique place in skating history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Louise View Post
    By far Viktor was better on everything else,
    Transitions? I'd have to watch the programs again, but when I watched them on tape during the mid-90s, long before they had a score of their own under IJS, that's what stood out to me as Browning's biggest advantage.

    I also thought that by the end of his competitive career (1993 and 94 seasons) that Browning had developed into one of the most versatile and detailed interpreters of music we've seen in competitive singles skating. But versatility doesn't win championships by itself, since judges only judge one program at a time. It is something to keep in mind when evaluating careers in hindsight though.

    It so happens that I did vote for Browning in this poll, although I don't like the "choose just one greatest" approach to skating history. Others would be equally worthy. But I can't see any reason why Browning wouldn't be considered one of the worthy ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    in 94 he should have skated a clean SP, which would have placed him in OGM contention, since both Viktor and Brian made major mistakes in their SPs. Kurt just gave up when he fell on the 3f in the SP. I don't know why he did not try at at least fight through it. There were many skaters yet to come, and they could have made mistakes too (they did not).
    Browning skated last in the short program at 1994 Olympics.

  12. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post



    Transitions? I'd have to watch the programs again, but when I watched them on tape during the mid-90s, long before they had a score of their own under IJS, that's what stood out to me as Browning's biggest advantage.



    It so happens that I did vote for Browning in this poll, although I don't like the "choose just one greatest" approach to skating history. Others would be equally worthy. But I can't see any reason why Browning wouldn't be considered one of the worthy ones.



    Browning skated last in the short program at 1994 Olympics.
    Thanks for the correction. Now I remember.

    About Viktor, I remember Scott saying that he challenges himself on the entrance of every jump. Viktor also had more powerful basic skating/speed, and he was a better spinner. Artistically he was a natural, as we saw in the 1988 Oly (his posture, palms, more detail in his moves) and he has a regal presence on the ice. I felt it when I saw him skate with COI, Kurt's artistry did not really develop until 1993 when he came back with Casablanca, which was a character oriented program. He played the character well.

  13. #133

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    About Viktor, I remember Scott saying that he challenges himself on the entrance of every jump. Viktor also had more powerful basic skating/speed, and he was a better spinner. Artistically he was a natural, as we saw in the 1988 Oly (his posture, palms, more detail in his moves) and he has a regal presence on the ice.
    Viktor was an eye sore after one good performance in 1988, especially his 1992 "OGM Performance" His LP was horrid.

    There were definitely holes in the training provided by Galina, especially in MITFs, although he got away with it more being a man, since he was primarily judged on speed and power ... In a way, it was good for us since we only had to see him do Daffy Duck steps as a cover up rather than the butt shake dancing Galina had Oksana do.

    Btw, note the absence of mifts (now called "transitions") in Johnny Weir's programs post moving to the pseudo-Russian team of Galina and Viktor from Priscilla and Tata. He was absolutely ruined.
    Last edited by bardtoob; 10-18-2011 at 07:01 PM.

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