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

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  • Lu Chen

    49 15.17%
  • Michelle Kwan

    18 5.57%
  • Tara Lipinski

    120 37.15%
  • Irina Slutskaya

    21 6.50%
  • Shizuka Arakawa

    84 26.01%
  • Mao Asada

    21 6.50%
  • Yu-Na Kim

    10 3.10%
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  1. #41
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    Hmm.. I think that 3 contenders in the ROUND 10 should be(would be) Kwan, Kim, Mao.
    The 3 greatest skaters of last 20 years, JMO.

  2. #42

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    I've decided to vote for Shizuka -- I hate to do it because I've long had a soft spot for her skating and was happy for her when she (sort of unexpectedly) won her OGM. So it's not an indictment on her abilities, but rather on her spotty competitive history relative to the other ladies still in the game.

    Although I suspect vote-splitting between Shiz and Chen Lu will cause Tara's (premature, IMO) departure.

  3. #43

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    Tara really deserves to be around a few more rounds, based on her accomplishments and her amazing consistency.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    ...

    IMO, Michelle and Irina should finish 1-2 in this poll. Michelle wins this poll for me b/c of her record; no one is close to touching it. No, she didn't have the 3-3s or spins that others had but she still managed to kick ass without it which says a lot. Irina didn't have the presentation or artistic abilities of Michelle, but she did have the spins and jumps and was the only skater to really challenge Michelle (outside of the two-year rivalry Michelle had with Tara).

    Michelle's weakness was Irina's strength; Irina's weakness was Michelle's strength...that's what made them so interesting to watch when they went head to head. That's why I'd vote for them to win this thing. Others feel differently I'm sure, but that's my 2 cents. I'm sure I'll reiterate my sentiments two or three rounds from now...
    ITA ... although I would have them tie, rather than 1-2 results. They also had careers of similar length, similar Olys results and (I think) a similar number of golds (14 or 15) at Nats, Worlds and continentals, combined.

  5. #45
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    Voted for Tara. Between Shizuka's lip and underrotations and Tara's roller-Axel technique and horrible hammer flutz, Shizuka's jump errors are the more venial of the two.

  6. #46
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    Hmm. After a little deliberation, I've decided that Lu Chen is likely the next weakest. However, it seems like this round is going to be between Lipinski and Arakawa. I don't think Lipinski deserves to go, so I think I'm picking Arakawa this round. (Sorry Shiz)

  7. #47
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    I voted for Shizuka.. she won Worlds (04) and Olympics (06) but in 2005 she dropped to 9th in the world. She was never on the podium at any of her other worlds appearances. She was a good skater, that's for sure, but not consistently dominant over the others of her era.

    Another one I considered voting out was Lu Chen, but she won medals at two different Olympics, plus she has more world medals than Shizuka, including one title as Shizuka also has. I also preferred Lu's programs to Shizuka's since I felt they were better in the artistic department.

    I couldn't justify voting off Tara or Mao yet, because they were consistently dominant skaters while they were skating, and Tara has an OGM even though she looked young while winning it! Mao has no OGM, but up until a couple of years ago when she started faltering she was a clearly dominant skater (along with Yu-Na) and she also made great strides with the triple axel.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinhood View Post
    NOOOOO
    Why are you guys voting for Arakawa? she's the most skater's skater of the ones remaining, and truly one of the great basic skaters of all time
    I know she was inconsistent as hell, but I could watch her just do crossovers the whole day...
    Anyway, I vote for Lipinski...I've been voting for her since round 2 or 3
    My feelings exactly. In fact I'd have her in the top 3 over Asada and Slutskaya (I'm assuming top three will include Kim and Kwan).

    Where is the Bondage Swan love???

    It's getting tough now. I think my vote will go to Lu Chen because although she had an incredible presence from 92-95, she was still a very immature skater and prone to mistakes. 1996 Worlds was perfection, but then everything else after was weak. And Shizuka's basic skating alone should knock off Lu Chen with her jerky shouldery weak crossovers and almost incompleted spins.

    Please have a heart for Shizzle.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanatic View Post
    IMO, Michelle and Irina should finish 1-2 in this poll. Michelle wins this poll for me b/c of her record; no one is close to touching it. No, she didn't have the 3-3s or spins that others had but she still managed to kick ass without it which says a lot.
    It sure does...about the weak, inconsistent competition she faced for 6 years (1996 - 2001). Tara made womens skating something other than a one-woman show in 97 and 98, but once she retired, it was again the Michelle Show. Her two post-Tara main rivals were Irina and Maria, and Maria only once performed to her ability (at 99 Worlds).

    No fault of Michelle of course. And, she consistently landed 7-triple programs for years--quite admirable. But it's too bad that no other skater was able to be consistent during that same 96 - 01 period. And, being such a lover of the big jumps and jump combos, I'm more impressed with the degree of difficulty of others on the list, so don't think Michelle should finish first (tho she will).

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    And Shizuka's basic skating alone should knock off Lu Chen with her jerky shouldery weak crossovers and almost incompleted spins.

    Please have a heart for Shizzle.
    Yes! I would watch one of Arakawa's jumpless exhibition programs than most of the best eligible skates of the ladies here.

    Her crossovers, spirals, ina bauers, etc, are unmatched by anyone on this list. Her soft knees and suppleness to her body makes her skating just meld with the ice.

  11. #51
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    We're getting to a stage where this is really hard, so a detailed analysis probably necessary now. I think it's now between Lipinski, Arakawa, and Chen.

    TARA LIPINSKI:
    Difficult jump content, though small jumps and flawed jump technique. Good spins and spirals. Decent speed and skating skills. Was good artistically - programs were well-interpreted and fit her style - though her programs were not artistically difficult or sophisticated. Strong, fairly consistent competitor having won Worlds and Olympics. However, a short career and therefore did not prove she could consistently stay at the top.

    SHIZUKA ARAKAWA:
    Difficult jump content, but a lip and some underrotation. Good spins and spirals. Outstanding skating skills, power, and ice presence. Artistically fairly good though somewhat reserved - Turandot was a great program. Not a particularly strong competitor: was a medal contender through her last three seasons, but 9th place in 2005 Worlds. Won both World and Olympic gold, though her Olympic program was not particularly memorable.

    LU CHEN:
    Moderate jump content with mediocre jump technique. Spins were not strong, spirals decent. Skating skills were ok, not amazing. Artistically outstanding, perhaps on par with Kwan: Rachmaninoff in 1996 was gorgeous. An ok competitor: was a medal contender for many years, won 1995 Worlds, and her 1996 skates would have won virtually any other year. However, declined past 1996.

    This was really tough, but I'm going with Lu Chen. Arakawa was technically and artistically outstanding when she was on, and she won both World and Olympic gold. I think Lipinski should stay as well. I'm sad to see Lulu go, but I had to pick someone..

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by duane View Post
    It sure does...about the weak, inconsistent competition she faced for 6 years (1996 - 2001). Tara made womens skating something other than a one-woman show in 97 and 98, but once she retired, it was again the Michelle Show. Her two post-Tara main rivals were Irina and Maria, and Maria only once performed to her ability (at 99 Worlds).

    No fault of Michelle of course. And, she consistently landed 7-triple programs for years--quite admirable. But it's too bad that no other skater was able to be consistent during that same 96 - 01 period. And, being such a lover of the big jumps and jump combos, I'm more impressed with the degree of difficulty of others on the list, so don't think Michelle should finish first (tho she will).
    But you see you are hitting the nail on the head...it is extremely difficult to remain as consistent as Michelle did for her career.That is why no one else could do it. Tara, had she remained eligible, would not have been able to keep up due to her injury.

    Even during today's era, no lady is dominating skating the way Michelle did.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by duane View Post
    If Tara is the weakest link, what does that say about her biggest rival Michelle, who placed 2nd to Tara at 97 Worlds, 97 Grand Prix, 97 Nationals, and 98 Olympics? Just asking.
    That at four competitions, Tara was deemed stronger than Michelle by a majority of the judges.

  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by robinhood View Post
    NOOOOO
    Why are you guys voting for Arakawa? she's the most skater's skater of the ones remaining, and truly one of the great basic skaters of all time
    I know she was inconsistent as hell, but I could watch her just do crossovers the whole day...
    Anyway, I vote for Lipinski...I've been voting for her since round 2 or 3
    You're completely right , Shizuka is a beautiful skater, but as you said, she was inconsistant as hell. My love for her came after she retired, because I feel that i've been able to see the beauty in her skating more, when she was competing i didn't really get the hype.

    I'm keeping criteria of voting to just their amateur careers, since it seems that results are the most important factor to determine a weak link. Although Lulu doesn't have OGM, she has 2 OBM, and 4 world medals. Aside from her results, what keeps me from voting for Lulu is that we were able to see her growth as a skater, from a little girl to a beautiful artist on the ice ( yeah I was young then,but I remember). So with all of that I see Lulu as a stronger "link than Shiz and Tara.

    Now to the next two, Tara and Shizuka's major titles are the same, 1 OGM and a world title. Although people will point out the maturity difference between the two, that isn't a factor for me. When Tara won in Nagano, she left it ALL on the ice, she gave all that she had and then some,same can't be said about Shizuka, she played it safe like no other. Yeah a champion is a champion, but there are some more memorable than others because of the way that they won, and at the end of the day, I see Tara as a more memorable champion than Arakawa.

    (BTW I prefer Shizuka, but im just being honest )

  15. #55

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Forrest View Post
    Where is the Bondage Swan love???
    To tell the truth, I was not really a big fan of that program. I'm sure I'm in the minority on this. Maybe I was just too distracted by the hideous costume

    Lu Chen with her jerky shouldery weak crossovers and almost incompleted spins.
    This is a fair point, and why I almost voted for Lu Chen. But I'm a big sucker for competitive spirit, and Lulu rose to the occasion far more often than Shiz did.

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheylana View Post
    To tell the truth, I was not really a big fan of that program. I'm sure I'm in the minority on this. Maybe I was just too distracted by the hideous costume
    I was taken aback by that costume too. I wonder who designed it, probably a local in Detroit. But if I was a designer who witnessed her mad skating skills and presence she could command, and we're dealing with a Japanese lady whose presentation was so far inward and introspective, I'd want to get her 'out there' and make her a presence. Well, that costume worked, because people are still talking about her Bondage Swan. She probably would have medaled at 2003 Worlds except she 'whammeled' her final combo spin. The next year she WON. To see Shiz live is incredible. That dress got her notice. As inappropriate as it was.
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  17. #57
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    Her Titanic LP from that year is really lovely too.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by casken View Post
    Her Titanic LP from that year is really lovely too.
    Casken, that is one of my favorite programs ever. I almost mentioned it in my previous post, but it didn't fit in. Yes, that program was great.

    Just watched it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltuz2mbIlJA I wish she hadn't bumbled her SP. It would have been interesting to see how she would have done had she been in the final group. I can't listen to that music without getting tears in my eyes.
    Last edited by Alex Forrest; 06-22-2012 at 01:48 AM.
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  19. #59

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    Ah yes, the Titanic program. That was really nice.

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by UGG View Post
    But you see you are hitting the nail on the head...it is extremely difficult to remain as consistent as Michelle did for her career.That is why no one else could do it. Tara, had she remained eligible, would not have been able to keep up due to her injury.

    Even during today's era, no lady is dominating skating the way Michelle did.
    Michelle wasn't really that dominating, maybe except 1996, 1999 (but still lost to Butyrskaya) and 2003. She lost half of her competitions against Lipinski so she wasn't dominating at all when Tara competed. After 1998 she had one year when she could easily win every competition but lost to Butyrskaya at Worlds. And then when Slutskaya came back, Kwan wasn't even near the title of dominant skater. She lost ALL her meetings with Irina except 2000 and 2001 Worlds. Fortunately for her, those counted the most. In 2003 she was really dominant, winning everything she entered. Then in 2004 she had one clean performance at Nationals but struggled in the other competitions. From 2004 to 2006 Slutskaya owned women skating. For that period of time she was surely dominating, winning majority of her competitions, but unfortunately for her losing at the most important one.

    I would say that Witt was really dominating, then Slutskaya after she came back from her illness and finally Kim in her olympic season was also a dominant skater. Not only was she expected to win every competition but also break her own world records.

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