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

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  • Lu Chen

    90 30.30%
  • Michelle Kwan

    18 6.06%
  • Irina Slutskaya

    25 8.42%
  • Shizuka Arakawa

    116 39.06%
  • Mao Asada

    35 11.78%
  • Yuna Kim

    13 4.38%
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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    ...had with only difference that Irina fully controlled her moves and it actually was totally efortless.
    Pumping your back multiple times and swaying your arms up and down is effortless? Irina had programs that I enjoyed, but effortless is not a word I'd use to describe any part of her skating.

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    Pumping your back multiple times and swaying your arms up and down is effortless? Irina had programs that I enjoyed, but effortless is not a word I'd use to describe any part of her skating.
    Yes, her stroking was definitely efortless but if you watched her only in her early years I understand the talk about pumping back and swaying arms. Watch her later in her career though and you won't notice that.

    There is a lot of efortless things in Irina's skating. Gaining speed is one of them. When you can gain enough speed to cover the whole ice rink with a few strokes it is definitely efortless. The others are her triple jumps and most of her spins. She could easily do her level 4 FCSp or level 4 laybacks with great speed, positions and centering. I agree that her spirals weren't efortless though she had a lot of speed in them and usually very deep edges.

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    Yes, her stroking was definitely efortless but if you watched her only in her early years I understand the talk about pumping back and swaying arms. Watch her later in her career though and you won't notice that.

    There is a lot of efortless things in Irina's skating. Gaining speed is one of them. When you can gain enough speed to cover the whole ice rink with a few strokes it is definitely efortless. The others are her triple jumps and most of her spins. She could easily do her level 4 FCSp or level 4 laybacks with great speed, positions and centering. I agree that her spirals weren't efortless though she had a lot of speed in them and usually very deep edges.
    Re: Her stroking, I did watch her entire career, and I always noticed it.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uCJ3HoX20#t=1m28s

    Her spins were difficult, for sure, but the transitions from position to position were most certainly not effortless as she squirmed around to grab her legs and usually traveled across the ice. Powerful and fast, yes, but effortless, not so much.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBRFPtvpoOw#t=3m44s

    I suppose her jumps occasionally looked effortless, but what sticks out in my mind is the preparation where she often paused for a long time on two feet with her arms to her sides and looking totally out of the performance. That's the opposite of effortlessness.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCBhOcfH_S8#t=3m41s

  4. #124
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    ITA. Irina's skating during competitions almost always looked sloppy and laborious to me. It's as if she didn't care to clean up her skating. I always found it odd that many of her defenders were lauding her skating almost as if it were some feminist statement while those same qualities would've been much more heavily criticized had they been attributed to a pairs or ice dance team.

    As big as her jumps were and as fast as her spins were, they always looked so heavy. Her jumps, with the exception of the fab loop out of three turns, always had these long set ups where she faced forward on two feet and took up at Lear half the ice. During her hey-day against Kwan, you can seriously see the difference in effort with regards to choreography and presentation. Just compare Don Quixote and Kwan's Song of the Black Swan. To me, it's no coincidence that The beginning of Kwan stripping complexity out of her choreography for speed came at the same time Irina's skating started getting high marks.

    With all that said, I have to vote for Arakawa. I enjoy her skating and love her skating skills, but I really have to take points off for the fact she's only won two major titles (never won the SP in those competitions so she didn't dominate) and she won them with the same music. She's not a two-hit wonder, she's a one-hit wonder with one program for 6.0 full of spread eagles and a gorgeous Ina Bauer and one for COP full of donut spins and a slow moving footwork sequence that was out-of-place with the music and a gorgeous Ina Bauer. Lu Chen doesn't have the OGM, but she has a better track record and better programs throughout her career.
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  5. #125
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    If Slutskaya didnt feel any need to polish her skating up I can understand the reasons

    1996- She was just happy being a medal contender for the first time this year.

    1997-1999- She went into an increasingly major slump and was too concerned about regaining consistency on her jumps to worry much about artistry.

    2000-2002- The judges scores indicated that every event she entered was hers to lose. When she didnt win, and when she didnt win she was still always 2nd, it was only when she made mistakes and someone else skated lights out- 2000 Worlds, 2001 Worlds, 2001 Skate Canada, 2002 Olympics. She never skated cleanly and lost an event, and she won the short program in like 90% of the events she was in. So she had every reason to believe she was already the top skater, and if she lost it was only because she messed up and someone else was perfect, not because of any flaws in her skating that were being marked down.

    2003-2004- Was concered with her ill mother and recovering from her own major illness than anything else.

    2005-2006- Repeat what I said for 2000-2002 and just copy it here.

  6. #126
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    Now that I think about it, was there a time where Kwan and Slute skated both a clean and inspired SP and LP? It seems like one always had some game-making flaw that the other took advantage of. Of course they only usually met twice before Worlds so that's only three competitions for them to duke it out a season.
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  7. #127

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    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    Just with two or three strokes she could gain enough speed to skate through the whole ice rink in her one foot footwork and didn't lose the speed at all at the end.
    To be fair to Irina it wasn't the three cross overs that set up the speed into that one foot footwork sequence, it was the power she generated from the edges in the turns she executed throughout, she actually sped up at times doing the sequence. That footwork sequence was sublime and easily one of my favourite straightline step sequences done by a lady (back when "straightline" still had a meaning).

  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    2000-2002- The judges scores indicated that every event she entered was hers to lose. When she didnt win, and when she didnt win she was still always 2nd, it was only when she made mistakes and someone else skated lights out- 2000 Worlds, 2001 Worlds, 2001 Skate Canada, 2002 Olympics. She never skated cleanly and lost an event, and she won the short program in like 90% of the events she was in. So she had every reason to believe she was already the top skater, and if she lost it was only because she messed up and someone else was perfect, not because of any flaws in her skating
    except that when she did make mistakes and others skated lights out, she still threw a major diva wobbly when she didn't win.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    Re: Her stroking, I did watch her entire career, and I always noticed it.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_uCJ3HoX20#t=1m28s

    Her spins were difficult, for sure, but the transitions from position to position were most certainly not effortless as she squirmed around to grab her legs and usually traveled across the ice. Powerful and fast, yes, but effortless, not so much.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBRFPtvpoOw#t=3m44s

    I suppose her jumps occasionally looked effortless, but what sticks out in my mind is the preparation where she often paused for a long time on two feet with her arms to her sides and looking totally out of the performance. That's the opposite of effortlessness.
    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCBhOcfH_S8#t=3m41s
    The video you gave for her stroking shows exactly how efortless it is for her to gain speed. Those moves of arms don't mean that it was difficult for her to her crossovers.

    When I see such a fast spin which doesn't lose ANY speed even when she goes into a difficult position to me it looks definitely efortless. You gave the example when she was travelling on purpose to show what you wanted to show but that doesn't mean all her spins travelled. I can give you plenty of examples when she is perfectly centered with big speed and all the difficulty.

    The jump itself is efortless even though she has a long set up. And the description you gave applies only to her flips and lutzes. She didn't have long preparation to her toeloops, loops and her double axel. In some of her programs she had her double axel place right after her triple flip and basically had to use the speed from the landing of the triple flip to land her double axel.
    www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz6B8QYIlW4&t=6m25s Look here, axel is huge with great flow in and out even tough she did it immediately after the triple flip.

    And you know, all skaters even when great at something have their bad moments. Michelle usually had good flow out of her jumps yet I can give you a lot of examples when she totally lost speed. It happend actually often to her triple lutz-double toe combination. So don't say Irina wasn't efortless in her spins because you showed one example when she was travelling. That happens to all skaters even when they are great spinners and Irina definitely is a great spinner. Even Lucinda Ruh or Stephane Lambiel might have travelled once or twice in their life.

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    except that when she did make mistakes and others skated lights out, she still threw a major diva wobbly when she didn't win.
    And that diminishes her skating abilities in any way?

    Besides, that happened twice in her career, at 2001 Worlds where she rightfully lost and at 2002 Olympics when she unfairly lost. And I understand her behaviour at 2001 Worlds where she could've been bitter after all those wins over Kwan prior to Worlds and then losing at Worlds.

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    except that when she did make mistakes and others skated lights out, she still threw a major diva wobbly when she didn't win.

    I think anyone would have a "major diva wobbly" if you just lost the gold medal at olympics to a 16 year old... I would have

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by berthesghost View Post
    except that when she did make mistakes and others skated lights out, she still threw a major diva wobbly when she didn't win.
    True, so she was majorly full of herself at that point. She certainly didnt see "flaws" in her skating that needed adressing, that is for sure.

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    Besides, that happened twice in her career, at 2001 Worlds where she rightfully lost and at 2002 Olympics when she unfairly lost. And I understand her behaviour at 2001 Worlds where she could've been bitter after all those wins over Kwan prior to Worlds and then losing at Worlds.
    Quote Originally Posted by sk8ingcoach View Post
    I think anyone would have a "major diva wobbly" if you just lost the gold medal at olympics to a 16 year old... I would have
    Supposedly, she also had a "major diva wobbly" when she lost the Olympic gold medal to 24-year-old (throwing her own medal into the trash).

    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    And that diminishes her skating abilities in any way?
    No, but it stamps her as unsporting.

    I liked the charming, young Slutskaya who could get excited like this when she earned a silver medal. The older Slutskaya who whinged about receiving an Olympic silver medal? Not so much.

  14. #134
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    Did anyone see her throwing her bronze medal into the trash?

    Besides, this time she didn't think she should have won, she was just very disappointed with her own performance. Who wouldn't have been disappointed? All of her performance that season (apart from one cheesfest in Japan before GP series) which had taken place before Torino Olympics would've given her the gold.

    At 2001 Worlds and 2002 Olympics she thought she should've won. I agree with her on Salt Lake City. Had she been correctly placed first after the short she would've won.

  15. #135

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    This article says she threw it into a locker, and that it was thrown aside.

    This article by John Zimmerman claims it was thrown in the trash, but he only says it was confirmed later, but there are no other articles saying that it was confirmed.

  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    The video you gave for her stroking shows exactly how efortless it is for her to gain speed. Those moves of arms don't mean that it was difficult for her to her crossovers.
    When I see such a fast spin which doesn't lose ANY speed even when she goes into a difficult position to me it looks definitely efortless. You gave the example when she was travelling on purpose to show what you wanted to show but that doesn't mean all her spins travelled. I can give you plenty of examples when she is perfectly centered with big speed and all the difficulty.
    Effortlessness means that your body appears relaxed and at ease, not bobbing back and forth with your back parallel to the boards on the low end, and your arms dancing around at awkward angles. That shows that the body was hard at work.

    In her famous combination spin, she has a very awkward upright turn on the change of foot where her body looks out of control and her leg is bent and without line. In attaining the biellman positions, she hits several awkward in-between positions that look strained and forced. There are many other skaters who can grab their legs more effortlessly, without losing control of their body line. There are probably better examples of her combination spin, but I would say, more often than not, it usually had a fair degree of traveling.

    Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the difficulty in Irina's spins and her speed over the ice, but I don't think for a minute that she ever made them look easy.

  17. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by bartek View Post
    At 2001 Worlds and 2002 Olympics she thought she should've won. I agree with her on Salt Lake City. Had she been correctly placed first after the short she would've won.
    That still doesnt justify a hissy fit. I am sure Kwan when watching a 3 triple Slutskaya beat her 6 triple program at the 2001/2002 Grand Prix final thought she should have won as well, but she smiled and accepted the rip off. I like Irina as a person overall and think she is a strong and interesting character, but her diva attitude in the early 2000s was a turn off, especialy when she often choked at major events and was legitimately outskated by the winner.

  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    That still doesnt justify a hissy fit. I am sure Kwan when watching a 3 triple Slutskaya beat her 6 triple program at the 2001/2002 Grand Prix final thought she should have won as well, but she smiled and accepted the rip off. I like Irina as a person overall and think she is a strong and interesting character, but her diva attitude in the early 2000s was a turn off, especialy when she often choked at major events and was legitimately outskated by the winner.
    There was also the fiasco at the Canadian Open that same year and Michelle simply said, "You can't win all the time...you know how that goes" and smiled.

    I like Irina, too, and I appreciate all kinds of different personalities in ice skating, but she acted like a diva on more than one occasion FWIW.

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple Butz View Post
    There was also the fiasco at the Canadian Open that same year and Michelle simply said, "You can't win all the time...you know how that goes" and smiled.

    I like Irina, too, and I appreciate all kinds of different personalities in ice skating, but she acted like a diva on more than one occasion FWIW.
    Yeah Josee Chouinard fell on a triple lutz, completed 1 triple, and beat a clean 3 or 4 triple Michelle whose performance was lovely and very nice, even if not super original (Josee did a mime program which was more suited to the pro am rules maybe, but still didnt justify her winning with that skate). I amazed how classy Michelle is, I dont know if any other skater I can think of would be able to withstand such ripoffs like those couple occasions I mentioned. Even the 95 Worlds, while it wasnt a major ripoff, a very young skater usually would pop off more than they should after.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Supposedly, she also had a "major diva wobbly" when she lost the Olympic gold medal to 24-year-old (throwing her own medal into the trash).



    No, but it stamps her as unsporting.

    I liked the charming, young Slutskaya who could get excited like this when she earned a silver medal. The older Slutskaya who whinged about receiving an Olympic silver medal? Not so much.
    I think she just really wanted the gold. After missing out in 2002, AND in 2006 when she could have easily won both, of course she is going to be pissed. She trained for 4 years between 02 and 06 so she could try and get the gold again, while also battling through a life threatening illness. And after all that training she ends up getting a worst result than in 02. Id be pisssssssssed

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