Which of these is the least appealing ladies Worlds medalist?
Claudia Leistner - West Germany (German Federal Republic)
1983 & '89 Worlds Silver
Known for her unprofessional looking choreography and lethargy, this 5'7" German beauty did not translate her physical beauty to attractive skating. Thanks to the era of figures and her determination to try triples, she pulled off a pair of World silver medals six years apart. Skating to Germanic sounding booming soundtracks, disco, or corny American folk music, she did not do much on the ice, but sometimes pulled off a triple flip and triple loop.
Kira Ivanova - Soviet Union (Russia)
1985 Worlds Silver
According to Peggy Flemming, Ivanova's figures weren't that great. Notwithstanding Peggy's opinion, the judges liked her tracings, and in that era this could guarantee you skated in the final group of six.
Dick Button said of her in 1984, "You know, I hate to say this, but personally for me this girl has absolutely no sparkle, very little choreographic interest, and I have very little enthusiasm for her technique. And one of the other things, I guess to put the finishing touches on it, like many Soviet skaters, her boots aren't very white."
Surya Bonnaly - France
1993, '94 & '95 Worlds Silver
What more can be said about Surya Bonnaly's technique? In 1992 Nancy Kerrigan's coach, Evy Scotvold, said: "Surya cannot skate. All she can do is move from triple jump to triple jump." In the shadow of Ito and Harding, and with Europe having no other horse, moving from triple jump to triple jump was enough to win Surya three world silver medals.
Carolina Kostner - Italy
2005 Worlds Bronze
Now the 2012 world champion is not today thought of as an over scored fluke. But in 2005, some people had a different take on the long legged Italian. Some Kwan (and other) fans complained that her bronze at the worlds in Moscow was an injustice. Unflattering things were said and written about how she dressed, her choreography, and how incompetent the judges were for overlooking her ice splat.
2002 & '03 Worlds Bronze
2006 Worlds Silver
With her personal decisions to continue skating under scrutiny, this is not the nicest time to nominate Fumie for such a distinction. I believe she deserved all her world medals. However, there was buzz at 2003 Worlds that she was over scored and undeserving of status as a multiple-time podium finisher. In all likelihood, this talk was from biased Americans (favoring Sasha Cohen), but it is arguably true that Fumie did not skate particularly well in Washington, D.C.
2006 Worlds Gold
With propeller arms, Meissner flapped her way to a world title in 2006. Most of us agree that Kimmie was a great competitor who belonged in the top six, but more than enough people I know still scratch their heads when they remember she is also the 2006 world champion.
2003 Worlds Silver
She attempted triple-triple combinations at 2003 worlds, but some spectators and former competitors commented that she was too lackluster artistically to be a medalist. The judging system used at the 2003 Worlds was the most secretive, broken, and cryptic ever. This probably gave rise to conspiracy theories that may or may not have been valid.
2010 Worlds Bronze
This lovely Finn did relatively little jump content at the Vancouver Olympics but still beat the USA national champ Rachael Flatt. This naturally started talk in USA quarters about how over scored Ms. Lepistö was. When she got the bronze at the following worlds, this time beating the former world champion Miki Ando, Lepistö's lighter jump difficulty got further negative attention.