I hope Mao gets her 3A back. She is the only lady in recent years to have landed it in competitions.
Between Harding and Ito I guess I'd say that I'd give it to Ito for how many times she landed it as well as the height and distance. Harding's would have been perfect had it not been for the lean.
To balance it, may be a man doing a Biellman spin or a layback (true) spin should get more credit than a lady- just kidding.
Re. Aki Sawada:
Bluelutz's post:The Japanese ladies that attempted triple axels in competition last
season are coached by Machiko Yamada (Midori ito's old coach): Yoshie
Onda, Yukari Nakano, Mai Asada and Mao Asada.
I witnessed Miki Ando practicing a few triple axels during a Montreal
JGP competition practice last September (they looked like pretty good,
two-footed attempts), but she did not attempt any in competition that I
Mie Hamada also coaches another promising junior lady named Aki Sawada
(5th in the Belgrade JGP last fall). Sawada attempted/fell on a triple
axel in her free skate at 2002 Japanese Junior Nationals last season
(she finished 6th overall).
"Like Sylvia wrote, Ota shares the coach, Mie Hamada with Aki Sawada who
attempted 3A a few times in minor competitions besides Japanese Junior
nationals last season."
"Aki Sawada(14)'s 3A attempts in late March 2003 competition looked
closer to land than last fall competition attempts."
So, still no hard evidence regarding when/where Aki Sawada may have landed a 3A in Japanese competition.
"Randy [Starkman (1960-April 16, 2012)] lived by the same motto as the rest of us. The Olympics isn’t every four years, it’s every single day. He just got it." --Canadian Olympic kayaker Adam van Koeverden
Tonya Harding. Skate America 1991. Hands down.
Lol, actually it wasn't someone, but rather a gaggle of someones that marked it as spam. Which tickles my funny bone because youtube posters are hilarious, especially when you disagree with them.
Anyhow, I take it all in stride with a grain of salt and a pinch of vinegar thrown in.
Back to 3axels! I'm a stickler for technique, and a leg wrap is a leg wrap is a leg wrap ad infinitum, no matter how legendary or nice/kind the person doing it is. Doesn't make a bit of difference, it's like the story of the duck, if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then it is a duck. Leg wrap = bad technique. Period.
Now I want to talk about Mao's 3axel, especially when done perfectly, like here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-sHFceaGEY *replay starts at 4:50, wherein commentator Susie Wynne classifies it as textbook perfect*
So even though Tonya & Midori's 3axels were high and powerful and completedly rotated with no underrotation issues ever, Mao's in comparison make up for it by being elegant, feminine, balletic, tight in the air with legs close together, and lovely. Deceptive power packaged in the body of a ballerina.
ps: thanks so much for the story about Kristi's admiration of Tonya's 3axel; I'm not surprised, look at her face when Tonya finishes her program: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdC5G7CDvbI