View Poll Results: Greatest European Ladies Singles Skater Of All Time?

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  • Herma Szabo

    1 0.47%
  • Sonja Henie

    41 19.16%
  • Cecilia Colledge

    6 2.80%
  • Sjoukje Dijkstra

    0 0%
  • Gabriele Seyfert

    0 0%
  • Anett Pötzsch

    0 0%
  • Denise Biellmann

    7 3.27%
  • Katarina Witt

    71 33.18%
  • Oksana Baiul

    9 4.21%
  • Irina Slutskaya

    62 28.97%
  • Maria Butyrskaya

    8 3.74%
  • Other

    9 4.21%
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  1. #41
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    My heart will always belong to Queen Masha, when she was on it was just pure magic.

    Oh, and shout out to Bonaly, she was also a fantastic skater, even without the basics

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moka-Ananas View Post
    Slutskaya. Love her. Can't stand Witt.
    That sums it up for me. I liked Witt in her early years competing, but she became annoying and then I got to the point where I couldn't stand her either!

    Totally agree with JudgeJudy27 about Henie.

  3. #43

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    In terms of Surya Bonaly and Carolina Kostner not being included, the maximum number of options in a poll is 12. This poll includes 11 skaters plus an 'other' option. The key thing for me as to why Bonaly and Kostner were not included in the poll ahead of the 11 that were, was that Bonaly never succeeded in becoming a world or Olympic champion, and Kostner has not yet become a world or Olympic champion. She may yet still do so. In terms of the records of the 11 that are on the list:-

    Herma Szabo - 1 Olympic title, 5 world titles
    Sonja Henie - 3 Olympic titles, 10 world titles, 6 Euro titles
    Cecilia Colledge - 1 world title, 3 Euro titles, favourite for the cancelled 1940 olympics
    Sjoukje Dijkstra - 1 Olympic title, 3 world titles, 5 Euro titles
    Gabriele Seyfert - 2 world titles, 3 Euro titles, favourite for 72 Olympics had she not retired
    Anett Pötzsch - 1 Olympic title, 2 world titles, 4 Euro titles
    Denise Biellmann - 1 world title, 1 Euro titles - would have won more, but retired
    Katarina Witt - 2 Olympic titles, 4 world titles, 6 Euro titles
    Oksana Baiul - 1 Olympic title, 1 world title
    Irina Slutskaya - 2 world titles, 7 Euro titles
    Maria Butyrskaya - 1 world title, 3 Euro titles - would have been more, but was competing in an era which included Kwan & Slutskaya.

    Hence, there was simply no room for Bonaly and Kostner in the poll. The 11 that did get in quite simply have better records than them. However, Kostner's career has not yet finished and if she does win world and Olympic titles over the next few years then that could all change. It is also worth noting that there were several other world and Olympic champions that didn't make the final 11, who I would say were also ahead of Bonaly and Kostner, such as:-

    Trixi Schuba - 1 Olympic title, 2 world titles, 2 Euro titles
    Jeannette Altwegg - 1 Olympic title, 1 world title, 2 Euro titles
    Madge Syers - 1 Olympic title, 2 world titles

    There are also several others who became world champions who did not make the final 11, and who are also arguably ahead of Bonaly and Kostner.

    In terms of what I mean by a "great skater" - it includes all sorts of factors including the quality of their skating, their competitiveness, their temperament, and their overall record (i.e. the overall 'package' taking all aspects into account). That is, what makes a 'great' figure skater for me is someone who has the ability to produce quality skating, who has a great competitive temperament, and who can deliver the 'goods' as it were in terms of medals on the world stage at the most important events (i.e. the Olympics and worlds). Bonaly and Kostner's great weaknesses were that they were not able to win a world or Olympic gold medal (Kostner may yet still do so), and their competitive temperament failed them at key moments. Moreover, in terms of Bonaly, she had great jumping technique, but there were many problems with other aspects of her skating which others have already alluded to in this thread. As for Kostner, she has for the most part had problems with the more difficult jumps, and has for some time now been skating with content which has been significantly scaled back in terms of difficulty.
    Last edited by Maofan7; 02-23-2012 at 08:29 PM.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by DimaToe View Post
    Oh, and shout out to Bonaly, she was also a fantastic skater, even without the basics
    I believe that makes her a very good jumper, excellent back-flipper, but still a mediocre skater.

  5. #45
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    i am torn between herma szabo 5 world titles and olympic gold, plus a world title in pairs and katarina witt..
    i chose both but can only vote for 1 so i refrain from voting.

  6. #46

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    To me, this is the most debatable poll. Stiff competition.

  7. #47
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    I voted for Maria Butyrskaya. She holds a couple records for being old and Russian (1st Russian woman to win World title, oldest woman to win Euros and Worlds) but mostly I just voted for her because she was always a rockstar and most enjoyable of this list for me to watch.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    In terms of Surya Bonaly and Carolina Kostner not being included, the maximum number of options in a poll is 12. This poll includes 11 skaters plus an 'other' option. The key thing for me as to why Bonaly and Kostner were not included in the poll ahead of the 11 that were, was that Bonaly never succeeded in becoming a world or Olympic champion, and Kostner has not yet become a world or Olympic champion. She may yet still do so. In terms of the records of the 11 that are on the list:-
    whole post

    The definition of "greatest" is different of "my favourate". "favourate" can be subjective as well as artistry, and we can just count the uber's number for each skater in this forum.

    But "Great" or "Greatest", there should be some standard such as titles, record, technique creation, influence to the sports, etc. JMHO.

  9. #49
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    Witt, Butyrskaya, and Kostner!

    I appreciated Slutskaya's athleticism.

  10. #50
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    Haha at Biellmann being below Baiul and Butyrskaya in this poll. That has to be some joke. In her 30s she could still skate circles around both of them. Maria was probably one of the flukiest 1 time winners ever, a hugely inconsistent skater who managed to peak and have her only good LP ever in a super weak transition year with nobody there except Kwan. She did have a chance to repeat her win in a strong field the following year, but of course there was almost no chance of her doing a good LP two years in a row so not really.


    I might have even included Bonaly on the poll over Butyrskaya. She does have more European titles, and 3 top 2 World medals to 1 for Maria. She was also a gold contender much more often in her career than Maria was.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Haha at Biellmann being below Baiul and Butyrskaya in this poll. That has to be some joke. In her 30s she could still skate circles around both of them. Maria was probably one of the flukiest 1 time winners ever, a hugely inconsistent skater who managed to peak and have her only good LP ever in a super weak transition year with nobody there except Kwan. She did have a chance to repeat her win in a strong field the following year, but of course there was almost no chance of her doing a good LP two years in a row so not really.


    I might have even included Bonaly on the poll over Butyrskaya. She does have more European titles, and 3 top 2 World medals to 1 for Maria. She was also a gold contender much more often in her career than Maria was.
    WOW!
    Do you show up at childrens birthday parties just to burst their balloons?!
    Why do you have to trash something that someone else has worked hard for?.
    Maria was not the most talented skater in the World but she EARNED her World title. She had no control over how anyone skated OR who was there.
    Kwan won the World title the year before when everyone else skated poorly but she still deserved it.
    Maria was a fighter. I respect that.
    To call her win in 99' a fluke just shows how little YOU respect others.
    That's sad.

  12. #52
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    She deserved her World title and I am happy for her, but she is still not in the league as these others on the list.

    If we arent going to subjectively evaluate skaters victories vs one another, and their sheer abilities, what is the point of even having these threads in the first place. Yes she is a World Champion and always will be, but she did win in a transition year with almost no top skaters there. She was never even really one of the top skaters of any era other than the short transition period between generations, she was clearly behind Kwan, Chen, Slutskaya, Lipinski, Bonaly, and Baiul at first, then was clearly behind all of Kwan, Slutskaya, Hughes, in the second. She has only one top 2 finish at Worlds and Olympics. She wasnt hardly ever a real threat for the top of the podium. Compared to the others on this list she is just not at the same level. Even some who werent included like Bonaly are better. For her to have more votes than Biellmann and even Baiul is funny for me. Also what stood out about her skating as great. Not jumps, not spins, not footwork, definitely not spirals, not basic skating, her artistry was too awkward and stiff to be called great, maybe on ice maturity.

    PS- yes Kwans 98 World title is by far her least impressive but nobody really cares when she has 4 other spectacular ones, and when she has a good chance to win any year anyway.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    She deserved her World title and I am happy for her, but she is still not in the league as these others on the list.

    If we arent going to subjectively evaluate skaters victories vs one another, and their sheer abilities, what is the point of even having these threads in the first place. Yes she is a World Champion and always will be, but she did win in a transition year with almost no top skaters there. She was never even really one of the top skaters of any era other than the short transition period between generations, she was clearly behind Kwan, Chen, Slutskaya, Lipinski, Bonaly, and Baiul at first, then was clearly behind all of Kwan, Slutskaya, Hughes, in the second. She has only one top 2 finish at Worlds and Olympics. She wasnt hardly ever a real threat for the top of the podium. Compared to the others on this list she is just not at the same level. Even some who werent included like Bonaly are better. For her to have more votes than Biellmann and even Baiul is funny for me. Also what stood out about her skating as great. Not jumps, not spins, not footwork, definitely not spirals, not basic skating, her artistry was too awkward and stiff to be called great, maybe on ice maturity.

    PS- yes Kwans 98 World title is by far her least impressive but nobody really cares when she has 4 other spectacular ones, and when she has a good chance to win any year anyway.
    I agree about the others you have listed as above her apart from Hughes.
    Hughes IMO cheated a lot of her jumps & never touched what Maria could do in artistic terms.
    Bonaly was a much better jumper than many including Maria but never on the artistic mark.
    For me purely on the second mark, Maria was a beautiful skater. I never found her awkward like Slutskaya. But each to their own.

  14. #54
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    If she were smoother and emoted more she wuold have been a great artist. She had pretty lines and positions, and had a style and maturity. She also sensed and interpreted music well, and her choreography was usually strong. However she also had a stiff and slightly awkward quality, and she had a coldness to her presentation as Peggy Fleming said.

    The thing about Surya is she atleast had something that set her apart, for 3 years she was doing and consistency landing much tougher jumps than anyone else. Maria never had something that set her apart from all other top women.

    As for Hughes what set her apart was her consistency, for 2 years she was the most consistent skater on the planet, including Kwan or Slutskaya. When up against Marias massive inconsistency, with Maria losing substantial ground and ceasing to any longer be a threat to Kwan and Slutskaya, and that Hughes was trying tougher jumps and combinations than Maria, and with Hughes also having superior spins and spirals, this allowed Hughes to pass Maria by even if Maria had better jumps (when landed) and better artistry. I prefer Marias skating but there is no question Hughes was a much bigger force and contender at the money end of the quad (00-01 and 01-02 seasons) than Maria was. Maria winning the bronze in SLC would have seemed as big an upset as Hughes winning the gold was.

  15. #55
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    Although Henie and Kat are probably the best, my favorite is Carolina Kostner! Gotta love her programs.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    If she were smoother and emoted more she wuold have been a great artist. She had pretty lines and positions, and had a style and maturity. She also sensed and interpreted music well, and her choreography was usually strong. However she also had a stiff and slightly awkward quality, and she had a coldness to her presentation as Peggy Fleming said.

    The thing about Surya is she atleast had something that set her apart, for 3 years she was doing and consistency landing much tougher jumps than anyone else. Maria never had something that set her apart from all other top women.

    As for Hughes what set her apart was her consistency, for 2 years she was the most consistent skater on the planet, including Kwan or Slutskaya. When up against Marias massive inconsistency, with Maria losing substantial ground and ceasing to any longer be a threat to Kwan and Slutskaya, and that Hughes was trying tougher jumps and combinations than Maria, and with Hughes also having superior spins and spirals, this allowed Hughes to pass Maria by even if Maria had better jumps (when landed) and better artistry. I prefer Marias skating but there is no question Hughes was a much bigger force and contender at the money end of the quad (00-01 and 01-02 seasons) than Maria was. Maria winning the bronze in SLC would have seemed as big an upset as Hughes winning the gold was.
    In SLC I would have had Maria ahead of Sarah in the short, but then I would have had quite a few skaters ahead of Sarah in the short.
    Sarah's programes IMO were not special in terms of choreography, Maria's IMO was. If you seperate the technical & the artistic you would have two completely different competitions.
    Kwan would have had won an artistic Gold in Nagano. Rochette an artistic Gold in Vancouver.
    I find Maria more interesting to watch than Sarah & even though both have now gone from competitive skating when I still look back at their skating I still feel the same.
    In the early 90's I found Tonya Harding a great technical skater-but inconsistent & Nancy Kerrigan a great artistic skater. All in all I would prefer to watch Nancy.
    The same for Midori Ito Vs Kristi Yamaguchi or Michelle Kwan Vs Tara Lipinski.
    It depends on what makes you watch figure skating.
    What Floats Your Boat

  17. #57
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    Kostner. She has it all.

    As accomplished as Witt was, I wish someone would point out that she really isn't that good a skater. Competitor, yes. Performer, yes. Star, yes. Skater, not really.

    Slutskaya had strong elements and skills, but somehow the total was always less than the sum of its parts.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Kostner. She has it all.

    As accomplished as Witt was, I wish someone would point out that she really isn't that good a skater. Competitor, yes. Performer, yes. Star, yes. Skater, not really.

    Slutskaya had strong elements and skills, but somehow the total was always less than the sum of its parts.
    Witt as a pro skater cleaned up her lines & looked much better than in the 80's.
    I was quite shocked (Having only watched Witt since the 90's as a pro) when I watched her on Youtube, how bad her leg positions were in spins & spirals.
    Debbie Thomas was much better than her in that respect.
    But in the 80's IMO she was much better & consistent than everyone else.
    And being a beautiful as she was also helped her.

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