Voting all comes down to our meaning of "weakest link". My favorite skater among the list is Chen Lu. I adore her artistry, 3 of her programs are among my all-time favorite list (94 Olympics LP, Worlds 95 LP & 96 LP), and LOVE her delayed jump technique. But no way can I say she's a "stronger link" than, say, Tara. Sure, Tara flutzed and retired before developing into a more mature skater, but during her short period as a amateur skater she won the Olympics, Worlds, Nationals, and (2) Grand Prix! Her competitors weren't landing 3/3s while Tara was landing the extremely difficult 3lp/3lp with ease. IMHO, Tara should be one of the last standing.
If a skater such as Tara would be the last one standing, I will stop watching figure skating. I have absolutely all the respect in the world for other people's opinions...and I would be very happy if they respected mine.
But if Tara is the be all and end all of women's skating, I want no part of it. I respect her achievements. My eyes, my soul, and my brain don't want to have anything to do with her. No statement about her as a person-I'm sure she's a nice girl. My idea of beauty and athletic achievement is just different. That's just my opinion.
the way the voting is going, it looks unlikely now. But it depends on where the Butyrskaya/Kostner voters shift once those skaters are gone. I know I'm taking my vote elsewhere (I don't think Lipinski deserves to go yet), and perhaps others might, too. So you never know
I agree with most of what Duane has said... Everyone is going to have their favourite skater. Im sure there are a lot of people who want Michelle to win this. But with all her world titles, i do not believe she is the strongest skater in this. A strong skater must excel in presentation and technical, yes michelle was a great performer and had some magnificent programs, but her technical level was still not as advanced as tara, irina, shizuka, asada, kim, ando, hughes, meissner and even Carolina. Michelles only 3-3 was the toe. When i think of skaters that are strong i do think of michelle, but she is not the strongest. So in my opinion the next skaters that should get eliminated are Butyrskaya, Lu, Kwan and then Kostner
Butyrskaya should be out this round, and in my opinion Chen lu should be next.
Yuna did not need a loop to win. When Yuna doing 3-3 is worth more than doing a seventh triple instead of 6. Yuna did 3lz+3T and 2A+3T and olympics. Asada did two 3A's. Kwan only took risks you say 3 times. Yuna and asada not only did it at olympics but did the harder elements at nearly every competition from 2007-2010.
Kostner really, really needs to go now. I'm not sure why this is being dragged on so long.
The strengths Carolina has over Maria are her strong skating skills, speed, and spirals. Her jumps are more difficult as well in some regards, but we're talking about jumps in relation to the rest of the field at the time.
Maria has the strength in consistency, and has produced many more memorable programs. She is a stronger competitor and has stronger spins and overall presentation. Nothing Carolina has done can reach the level of Maria's winning LP in 1999 or Scene d'Amour.
Seriously comparing skaters from very different era is not valid. As time goes, technical content goes up, skaters with different style of skating come up as they attract people's attention with artistry in their own right. In these rounds of competition, you need to focus on their dominance, consistent ability to prove their potentials, and how they contributed to the skating overall in their time, albeit people may have their own opinions for the criteria.
Maria's strenghts are not consistency and spins !
Not more than Carolina.
About memorable performances, I guess it's a matter of tastes. I love Maria's 1999 LP and Scene d'Amour. But Caro's 2003 Euros LP, 2003 Worlds SP, 2006 SP, 2008 Worlds SP, 2011 SP and LP, 2012 SP and LP are some of the best programs ever, IMO.
Another close race to the end, with Kostner 67 and Butylskaya 66.
I'm biting my nails here.
You say we can't compare Michelle with Kim or Asada because they were from different eras yet Slutskaya was able to adjust to CoP perfectly and almost had broken 200 marks in 2005 before Kim did it 2009. She combined her consistent jumps with all the difficulty CoP requires in the spins and spirals. Twice, she scored above 130 for FS and beat jumbing bean Asada. If we can compare Slutskaya to Kim, Asada, Kostner and Ando, why not Kwan? But Michelle couldn't have competed succesfully under CoP, like Slutskaya, Cohen, Arakawa and Kostner managed to do. Her jumps were tiny so she wouldn't have got a lot of GOE and she wouldn't have been able to get level four on her spins which wouldn't have got big GOE either.
I 100% agree...
However one point i would make is that atleast Arakawa and Kostner were strong enough to attempt the harder 3-3 jumps. They didnt always successfully complete them but attempted none the less. Kwan could only do toe-toe and she only attempted it at maybe 3 competitions.
But i agree with everything else