A large sampling of Toller's work is available at FSVids.
Several of us who are familiar with his skating/the era are available for discussion.
Feel free to ask.
I voted for Orser for a number of reasons.
First, the skater needs to be one with that magical ability to interpret music. On that score, we eliminate Stojko, Joubert, and Eldredge as competent, at times effective, but not in the same league as the others.
Second, the skater should be at the technical head of his generation. Orser was already doing triple axels when the 3 lutz was enough to win an Olympics. IIRC he was the first man to use two 3 axels in a free skate, and all six of his triples were of good quality. The ability to do all 6 triples well eliminates Lambiel and Buttle, whose 3 axels, two decades later, were not up to snuff. Sadly, it also eliminates Browning, who had a solid 3A and was a quad pioneer, but did not have a decent 3 lutz and only slightly better 3 flip.
That leaves Orser, Cranston, and Takahashi. All three are very magical and special skaters, but I think Orser's two Olympic silver medals have to give it to him. In 84, he won both the short program and the freeskate. In 88 he came within one tenth of winning it all. None of the others has that kind of Olympic credentials.
Takahashi's LP performance at the 2008 Four Continents was probably the best technical skate ever to that point in time.
^ ITA with the above. I don't know how someone can refute a 4 time World Champion who was able to combine artistry with technical ability like Kurt Browning, or a 2 time Olympic Silver medalist and multiple World medalist (Brian Orser) to 1-2 great skates from Takahashi.
Brian Orser raised the bar in the 1980's to the point that his artistry and technical ability resulted in Brian Boitano seeking one of the best choreographers to choreograph an Olympic worthy LP. Not to mention Kurt Browning being the 1st to land a quad. His landing the quad resulted in more people trying to land the quad with Elvis being the 1st to land a quad/ double and quad triple.
When I think of the greatest male skater to NOT win the Olympics I think of Kurt Browning, Brian Orser and Elvis Stojko. Who brought much to the sport of figure skating in their respective timeframes.
If Kurt had skated his SP in 1994 very well, I firmly believe he would have been 1994 Olympic Champ. His interview on CTV after his SP broke my heart.
~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)
Last edited by shine; 10-01-2011 at 05:57 AM.
How Eldredge can have as many votes as Stojko is beyond me. Joubert more votes than Stojko, that is even funnier, at best he is basically a poor mans Stojko without any consistency.
This is basically a beauty contest, and yes, Brian is far more beautiful than Elvis in every possible way.Joubert more votes than Stojko, that is even funnier, at best he is basically a poor mans Stojko without any consistency.
Clearly, I'm not as big a fan of Stojko as you are though, so don't mind me. I'm just glad Urmanov won in '94 and Kulik won in '98 over him.
In general, I feel more for the guys who couldn't even manage an Olympic medal, like Browning and Joubert -though I imagine Browning has moved on long ago. As for the votes, 5 vs. 6 is meaningless, it's like caring who finished 14th on Eurovision and who was 15th.
I see no similarilities between Joubert and Yagudin. The things people found so wonderful and unique about Yagudin arent in evidence on Brian at all, even on a smaller scale to me. I know Yagudin worked with him for awhile so there were minor choreographic things that were similar, but that is it.
BTW I am not a big fan of Stojko whatsoever. However he is hands down a much better skater, more dominant force of his era, more impactful skater, and worthy candidate to Olympic Gold than Joubert ever was IMO. He also both dominated competitively and overshadowed as far as impact Eldredge during their respective careers.
OK, the eliminate Takahashi in Step 2 as well. I don't honestly remember any of his skates well enough to quote chapter and verse, but my perception was that, when he was at his best, he could do all 6 triples with good form. If he couldn't, then yes, he should have been out with technical weaknesses.I'm kind of confused about your reasoning: Kurt Browning doesn't make the cut for consideration because he didn't do enough technically ( on its own) but Daisuke Takahashi does?
I don't know if you remember Browning's competitive years, he usually didn't include a 3 lutz in his freeskate at Worlds and his 3 flip was always scary looking and unreliable. In fact, it was the inability to do these two jumps confidently that cost him his Oly chances. Before 91, he was succeeding in the SP with a 3A combo, solo 3A and required 2A. Once the ISU required a different jump as the solo, the SP became a minefield for him. The lutz was so bad he used 3flip for the solo in the SP when the other top guys all did lutzes. (Petrenko usually won the SP.) It was the flip he messed up in the SP at Lillehammer (before losing it mentally and also singling the axel). After 92, he was clearly on a physical decline. He won 93 Worlds with 5 triples (an event in which Elvis landed, I think, eight).
So, while Browning is a wonderful interpreter, a stylish skater, a dancer, and performer, his skating had some glaring technical weaknesses. Orser's didn't. For those folks ready to chime in with "technical" being more than just jumps, Orser was a better spinner than Browning, and I'd call it a tie on footwork.
Last edited by Susan M; 10-01-2011 at 05:35 PM.
Very interesting and insightful arguments.
I still vote for Toller! As skatesindreams said, all the men are heir to Toller's revolutionary risk-taking in Munich, which Toller describes as "the presentation of an idea and a concept and a new mode of skating that took off ... I was just the vehicle."