View Poll Results: Who is the weakest link among these past champions

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  • Lu Chen

    18 5.96%
  • Michelle Kwan

    10 3.31%
  • Tara Lipinski

    79 26.16%
  • Irina Slutskaya

    11 3.64%
  • Shizuka Arakawa

    37 12.25%
  • Mao Asada

    12 3.97%
  • Yu-Na Kim

    10 3.31%
  • Carolina Kostner

    125 41.39%
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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by npavel View Post
    I'll never understand how Tara can be a stronger champion than Carolina who has better skating skills, bigger jumps, greater spirals.
    I'm with you on that, you know.
    I'm so sad few of us see how amazing Carolina is.

    Anyway, even if I'm an MK fan (and a Caro fan), I feel something for Tara, and her 1997 Worlds SP&LP will always be in my best memories.

  2. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    I second that, Cheylana!
    I third it.

  3. #63
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    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.

  4. #64

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    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.

  5. #65

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    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).

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    ...Carolina has better skating skills and jumping skills than Chen Lu,
    if you say so. Everybody is entitled to an opinion.
    and has had a longer career at or near the top than she did.
    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.

    Boy, you sure do have an awfully broad interpretation of "at or near the top"!

  7. #67
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    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.

  8. #68

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    The next battle between Tara and Shizuka will be interesting. This is also the first round where Irina is NOT the least voted.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    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.
    But are jumping skills only based on the ability to peel off 6 or 7 triple programs?

    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.

  10. #70
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    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.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggs View Post
    But are jumping skills only based on the ability to peel off 6 or 7 triple programs?

    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. nerves of steel ... she would have been unstoppable.
    Jumps done in practice are just that- practice jumps that don't count toward any marks in competitions. Carolina's misses were too many and too frequent. In competitions very often her jumps were sloppy/not landed/too many falls. Her spins are so so. She has the most speed in all of ladies skating, but she did not have the nerves of steel, which are important when it comes to winning competitions. She finally won without difficult jumps and without a tough competition from other skaters. I may enjoy her skating (and that only started last year), but I don't respect her as an athlete.

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggs View Post
    But are jumping skills only based on the ability to peel off 6 or 7 triple programs?
    I think we don't see weakness the same way. Some of us consider Quantity, and others consider Quality.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    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.
    The lutz thing is becoming old - she had an injury, was forced to take the lutz out, hadn't been practising it for 1,5 years, does it in practice now but was not secure enough to re-include it in competition. She has shown a proper outside edge lutz for 8 senior seasons, but this year, she just didn't need it and won without it fair and square. She used the system to her advantage and it paid off.

    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Jumps done in practice are just that- practice jumps that don't count toward any marks in competitions.
    I know that and that's what I pointed out clearly in my original post. I was simply using it to underline what was missing in Carolina's career, and that was the ability to control her nerves, that's all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    She finally won without difficult jumps and without a tough competition from other skaters.
    See, that's the vibe I described above. She finally won in a weak field, without difficult jumps. That makes it sound as if her World title is just a joke. She competed against this season's best skaters, had to skate well when it mattered and delivered when it counted. Just like all the other former Champs did when they won their titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I may enjoy her skating (and that only started last year), but I don't respect her as an athlete.
    Respect for an athlete can't and shouldn't only be based on someone's competitive history or record, the amount of medals someone won or how consistently well someone performed in competition.

    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.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    Carolina has better skating skills and jumping skills than Chen Lu...

  15. #75
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    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.

  16. #76

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    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.

  17. #77
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    Lets compare Chen's best to Kostner's (thus far) best:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCRaoNfU0r8
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONViuMXi2nE

    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.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggs View Post
    She has skated lots of memorable and great programs
    I'm sure this opinion is true to you personally. However, please don't ever press a gun to my head because I will die. I couln't tell you one single thing about any of her imo forgetable programs. Nothing. Nada.

  19. #79

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    Quote Originally Posted by jiggs View Post
    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.

    Respect for an athlete can't and shouldn't only be based on someone's competitive history or record, the amount of medals someone won or how consistently well someone performed in competition.

    .
    Finally, some logic in your post.

    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.

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    I'm sure this opinion is true to you personally. However, please don't ever press a gun to my head because I will die. I couln't tell you one single thing about any of her imo forgetable programs. Nothing. Nada.
    Well then maybe it's time for you to double check & take a proper look at some of her programs again Like her Worlds SPs from 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 or 2008. Or her Worlds FPs from 2005, 2010, 2011 & 2012. Not to mention her signature pieces to Shostakovich or Mozart this year.

    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.

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