I do think the poll drags on longer than it needs to. 5 days sounds like adequate time to get all the votes in. Besides, it seems more than 3/4 of the votes cast are done in the first 2-3 days anyway.
I don't get all the hate for Lipinski and Kostner and all the love for Chen Lu. I voted for her, Carolina has better skating skills and jumping skills than Chen Lu, and has had a longer career at or near the top than she did.
Chen Lu was a better skater and competitor than Kostner. She did not have to wait to be 25 to finally win the world championship in a weak field. Caro's two earlier world medals were gifts from the judges, and she never was a gold contender until this year. I have enjoyed watching the maturation of Kostner, but compared with other ladies she is the weakest at this point (IMO she was weaker than Maria, who was eliminated in the previous round).
sorry, that's where you lost me. Chen landed on the podium at the year's greatest event every year for 5 years in a row, 6 out of 7 if you include 97. Kostner would follow up a world medal with a 12th and then a 6th place finish over and over again.and has had a longer career at or near the top than she did.
Boy, you sure do have an awfully broad interpretation of "at or near the top"!
Carolina does have better skating skills than Chen Lu or almost anyone. Better jumping skills though? Chen has better jumping skills based on her ability to peel off 6 or 7 triple programs with a 2nd triple lutz repeatedly from 93-96. Chen competed in a very deep era with Yamaguchi, Baiul, Bonaly, Kwan, Lipinski, Kerrigan, which is why she won only 1 World title, along with missing a good shot at another when she was forced to pull out of the 94 Worlds. Kostner would never win a World title in that era with anything she has put on the ice so far. Maybe if she could have skated her 2008 programs with the jumps she was attempting then cleanly, but she never came close.
The next battle between Tara and Shizuka will be interesting. This is also the first round where Irina is NOT the least voted.
For me, jumping ability/skills is far more than that. It's the quality and textbook technique in Caro's jumps, the height, tight air position, speed in and out of the jump and her smooth landings that make her a more skilled jumper for me.
I have seen Caro practice loads of times and she peels off those jumps as if they were nothing and all of them are just exquisite.
Just look at this 3f3t3l: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RidqJMamkSQ
Or her first Euros performance including a 3lz3t, 3f3t and 2a3sal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28djAK9g4-0
Now I know practice doesn't count much when we talk about champions and what really counts is what these skaters show in competition. In that aspect, I can agree with Carolina being voted off now.
But again, looking at jumping skills and ability only, I think Carolina is right up there with anyone in the world. The only thing that has been missing for her so often and so long is the ability to control her nerves. She has everything else but could never quite manage in competition. Imagine a Carolina with nerves of steel ... she would have been unstoppable.
I agree the quality of her jumps, when landed, is better. It just doesnt compensate for so many mistakes and missed jumps on a regular basis, and rarely even managing 5 triple performances, and at the height of your career success not even doing a triple lutz two decades after it became a regular jump.
I agree that she was prone to mistakes in competition and that's why she will and should be voted off now. All the other ladies were far more consistent than her.
What bothers me though is the general negative vibe towards her on this board. I believe that she is a much better skater and athlete than most of the people here make her out to be.
She has skated lots of memorable and great programs, performing lots of clean SPs especially at Worlds, most of them including either a 3lz3t, 3f3t or 3t3t. She performed flawless 3-3s, even 3-3-2s in a lot of her programs each season. She has skated consistently well at the European Championships each year, having been on the podium for the last seven years, winning the title 4 times. She reached the GPF four times and was always on the podium. She was a roller-coaster at Worlds and a complete disaster at both Olympics, yes, but won 4 World medals.
It took her 10 seasons, several meltdowns and a lot of guts to get to where she is now, but it's not like she's not a champion.
I respect her enormously for her love for the sport, her persistence and for the fact that she never gave up. After what she has been through during and after the Turin Olympics, when the whole country expected her to win a medal and she failed - how the media and the public bashed her to a point when she didn't seem to be able to recover. Yet she came back strong and won her first European title after that. Then again after LA 2009 and Vancouver 2010, when she was publicly insulted by a lot of people, including the president of the Italian Olympic committee, and written off by the majority of people. Yet again, she somehow manages to continue and comes back to win her World Title. This girl has been through some horrible phases but always kept her love for the sport alive. It must have been incredibly hard for her but she didn't let herself be ruined by what was happening around her. And for that imo she deserves my respect.
Well Kostner really cleaned up her crossover technique over the years whereas Lu Chen was doing crossovers with her upper body bobbing all over the place right up to her retirement.
Kostner can also get more push to the blade, and can hold a deeper edge for longer. Compare any spiral Chen ever did to Kostner's from this year.
Lets be honest though how much easier is it for someone like Kostner who never has to worry about making a World or Olympic team since she has virtually no competiton in her home country. I bet she doesn't even have to skate at her Nationals to qualify for the Italian team.
Lets compare Chen's best to Kostner's (thus far) best:
Chen is still better. So even the "Kostner at her best" doesnt help her compared to Chen, if we also assume Chen at her best.
Needless to say Chen, the much more consistent skater delivered a much higher average or consistent level performance too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bsGN2TCDM8 1992 Olympics LP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNMp2bylAhY 1993 Worlds LP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53D2gjrmDnU 1994 Olympics LP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MzUzM...eature=related 1995 Worlds LP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zN_Y-...eature=related 1998 Olympics LP
Apart from the fluke of 1997 Worlds under crazy circumstances the girl didnt even know how to have a bad skate at a big event, in stark contrast to Kostner. Even if it might have been right based on the competitions one by one (some would say it isnt) it is a real shame she only won 1 global title. Especialy when you compare to Kostner who manages only 1 decent performance ever at a World or Olympic event and it nets her the same number.
Different people respect different things. Here we are talking about world/Olympic champions. It does not have a lot to do with personal things like facing criticism, or whatever else you use for respecting her. I do respect persistence, but there are plenty of other skaters that have overcome adversity- some of them much tougher situations. Carolina could stick around for years and years because no one else could represent her country. The best they had was Fontana, who was never a medal contender, even in a GP. I say Carolina had it real easy, but that aside, judging from the on-ice performance, she should have been eliminated in the previous round. I remember how many really bad performances she has had. It's only recently that she has started skating relatively clean, and that's only after she stopped doing the lutz and the flip.
Again, I want to say that I can see why Carolina is being voted off now. I still think though that a lot of people here make her look far worse than she actually is.