View Poll Results: Who do you consider the THREE best PRO skaters among men and why?

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  • Toller Cranston

    14 9.93%
  • Scott Hamilton

    44 31.21%
  • Brian Boitano

    44 31.21%
  • Paul Wylie

    33 23.40%
  • Brian Orser

    13 9.22%
  • Robin Cousins

    22 15.60%
  • Kurt Browning

    101 71.63%
  • Ilia Kulik

    26 18.44%
  • Alexei Yagudin

    34 24.11%
  • Viktor Petrenko

    9 6.38%
  • Rudy Galindo

    5 3.55%
  • Other

    13 9.22%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1

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    Corrected Poll: The THREE best PRO male skaters (singles)

    Since we no longer have any real pro skating/competitions, we are dealing with a fairly narrow time period here- the 1980s, 1990s and some beyond that (2000-2010).

    Who are the THREE best pro mens skaters in your opinion, regardless of what their eligible careers were like.

    You may use any crtieria to define 'best'- e.g. consistent jumps, creativity/artistry, pro competitions won, influence/impact on pro skating, and so on.

  2. #2

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    Since there are only 12 choices, I had to leave out some deserving skaters. Most of all Gary Beacom, who had his unique style. I also had to leave out Todd Eldredge, Alexei Urmanov, Josef Sabovcik, who had pretty good pro careers.

  3. #3
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    Brian Boitano and Kurt Browning I would say for sure. Those two dominated the pro ranks, with Browning the one who dethroned Boitano as the pro king from 96-99 before pro events began to go extinct. My third choice would be Paul Wylie who really blossomed further as a pro after his Albertville breakthrough. He won his share of events, but also really pushed the pro side forward artistically and came up with so many captivating programs that were more important than how many events he won.

    Cranston was a wonderful show skater, it was unfortunate there werent more pro competitions back then.

    Cousins and Hamilton were both fine pro skaters, I much prefered Cousins of the two though.

    Kulik and Yagudin were decent pro skaters but had limited opportunities by then.

    Galindo really came into his own further as a pro too, although he isnt in the class of some of those others still.

    I never really liked Petrenko's pro career much. Orser was not a good pro skater period. I would have definitely had Sabovcik and Eldredge on the poll over Galindo or Orser by a landslide, but that is just me.

  4. #4
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    I voted in the other thread related to this (before I found this ammended poll), and I just can't limit it to three! - Mine are Kurt Browning, Todd Eldredge, Paul Wylie, Brian Orser, Ilia Kulik, and Brian Boitano.

  5. #5
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    Kurt Browning and Brian Boitano for sure.
    For the third spot, I hesitate between Paul Wylie and Robin Cousins.
    Paul was impressive, with powerful choices of music. But Robin Cousins had so memorable programs as a pro (the poem in 1993, Rachmaninoff in 1991)...

  6. #6
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    Kurt Browning would make my top 3 list for sure though: excellent technical skills, memorable programs, continual growth as a skater, experimenting with different styles and had a great influence on other skaters. Likewise, Brian Boitano and Robin Cousins both had excellent careers as professional skaters.

    Paul Wylie is one of those skaters who truly came into his own as a professional skater with great programs and a strong track record of wins.


    Scott Hamilton's skating isn't my cup of tea, but when I consider the impact his Stars of Ice tour had on skating, giving not only Hamilton, but also Browning, Wylie, G&G, B&P, Yamaguchi, Witt and others opportunities as professional skaters, I would certainly consider him one of the most influential professional skaters.

    Already an innovator in the sport, Toller Cranston's influence, like that of Scott Hamilton, went beyond the programs he skated or medals he won. His popular Strawberry Ice show set the bar for show skating.

    While, objectively I don't think Gary Beacom is in the same league as Browning, Wylie, Boitano or Cousins as far as professional career is concerned-his program "I'm Your Man" is one of the most memorable routines in professional skating, IMO.

    Rudi Galindo continued to be a fan favorite as a professional skater. As much as I enjoy Petrenko's eligible programs (his 1991 SP is divine), as a professional skater, he really did nothing for me. But, he, like Galindo are both excellent performers and crowd favorites, I think when talking about professional skating, that counts for something as well.

    Ilia Kulik, like Kurt Browning, maintained his technical skills as a professional, and like Browning is known for his excellent footwork-which I think really became one of his trademarks as a professional skater. He also has many innovative and creative programs-Rubberband Man, Rockit, etc. However, unlike Browning, when Kulik turned pro, the peak era of professional skating had begun to pass. I would have loved to have seen Kulik, Wylie, Browning, Boitano all compete against each other as professionals when they were all at their peak.
    Last edited by lulu; 12-21-2012 at 07:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    How come Boitano has skated the same program for the last eight years? Lack of money to hire a choreographer??



    It's official. I am madly in love with Meryl Davis.

  8. #8
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    Huh, no Jeffrey Buttle? He is not a PRO?

  9. #9
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    Currently: Kurt Browning and Jeff Buttle, hands down.

  10. #10
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    Okay, so there is a corrected version of this poll. THANKS! IMO, it should still be Brian B, Paul Wylie, and Kurt Browning. Jeff Buttle is wonderful, but he hasn't yet accomplished what the aforementioned three have as professionals IMHO.


    ETA:

    I love Ilia, but he really shouldn't have that many votes, honestly. Neither should Yagudin. Compare the professional wins and professional performances that both Paul and Brian B achieved over Ilia and Yags (granted that there haven't been a lot of pro comp opportunities for Ilia and Yags, but still NO COMPARISON between them and either Paul, Brian B, or Kurt in terms of professional career accomplishments and growth).

    Please stop ragging on Brian B! He achieved more in two years as a professional skater than anyone ever had -- he changed the dynamic and he raised the bar technically. And even after he began to suffer from injuries, he still competed at a high level. If Brian B had been allowed to compete at the 1992 Olympics, he would have won gold, NO QUESTION! Two years later, it was too late re the Olympics as Brian B was injured, and in the later years of his pro career, he also suffered from injuries. How old do you think he is now? I'm not even considering what he's been doing recently. What Brian B achieved in his first 5 years as a professional cannot be compared to anyone -- only Paul W, Kurt B, Scott, Toller, and Robin C, are even in Brian B's league as professional skaters.
    Last edited by aftershocks; 12-22-2012 at 09:11 AM.

  11. #11

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    Saw Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning many times over the years and they are awesome. I also added Alexei Yagudin because I loved seeing him skate live too.
    ~I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.~ (Charles R. Swindoll)

  12. #12
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    Stephane Lambiel has already built up an amazing body of work (both in volume and range) in the short length of time since he stopped competing in 2010 Jeff Buttle has quite a few great pro programs as well.

    OTOH, I can't seem to recall any output from Yags since 2003..

  13. #13
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    My other 2 choices are John Curry & Todd Eldredge (along with Brian Boitano)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shine View Post
    Stephane Lambiel has already built up an amazing body of work (both in volume and range) in the short length of time since he stopped competing in 2010 Jeff Buttle has quite a few great pro programs as well.

    OTOH, I can't seem to recall any output from Yags since 2003..
    ITA. I think when looking at "current pros" I would include Lambiel, Buttle and Kulik on my list. Best pros of all time, I would include Browning, Paul Wylie, and either Cousins or Boitano in the third sport, although I'm leaning towards Boitano.

  15. #15
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    Boitano, Browning & Yagudin

  16. #16
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    A pity that this is only about professional competitions (and for many, just wins in those competitions). So, no chance for the current professionals as mentioned by others - Lambiel and Buttle. And for John Curry with his ballet (and not only) on ice.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauravvv View Post
    A pity that this is only about professional competitions (and for many, just wins in those competitions). So, no chance for the current professionals as mentioned by others - Lambiel and Buttle. And for John Curry with his ballet (and not only) on ice.
    Not exactly - Jeff did just win a pro competition in Japan against Kurt, Ilia, Yags, Honda and Candeloro. But I do agree that it's not exactly the same.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by lauravvv View Post
    A pity that this is only about professional competitions (and for many, just wins in those competitions). So, no chance for the current professionals as mentioned by others - Lambiel and Buttle. And for John Curry with his ballet (and not only) on ice.
    The poll is called best pro skaters, not best pro competitors. I don't see why skaters whose pro career has been primarily non-competitive shouldn't be considered.

    Therefore: Kurt Browning, Ilia Kulik, Jeffrey Buttle/Stephane Lambiel are my picks.

  19. #19
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    Reading through this thread makes me nostalgic for the golden era of pro skating.

  20. #20

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    It would be remiss not to mention that Toller Cranston changed the direction of Pro skating with "Strawberry Ice"; and the other specials which followed.

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