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    Tall Ladies Skaters

    Singles skaters of either gender are rarely tall for obviously reasons. Tall ladies can have particular challenges for jumps, and the sport is unforgiving to bulk of any kind. Some ladies of great stature have been successful, but the general rule is no taller than 5'5 (165 cm). When you look at the top ladies at Euros this week, the shortest ones, like Elizaveta Tuktamysheva (5'2 or 159 cm) tend to be the contenders.

    Kostner, at about 5'6 1/2, is definitely toward the tall end. Who have been other successful taller ladies like Kostner?

    Some skaters look very tall-- particularly on television, but they actually aren't. Let's discuss those too!

    Let's discuss height and your favorite tall ladies of skating. Has anyone made height an advantage?

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    Polina Korobeynikova from Russia is very tall. I'd say she's pushing 5'7.

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    Deleted- double post
    Last edited by Vash01; 01-25-2013 at 05:56 AM.

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    There was a German skater who was very tall- in the 1980s I think. Marina Kielmann- her height was 5 ft 7.5 inches. She skated in the 1988 Olympics and continued to compete but missed out on a second Olympic entry because Katarina Witt decided to return to eligible skating in the 1994 Olympics.

    ETA: Lenka Kulovana of the Czeck Republic was also 5 ft. 7.5 inches. I saw her skating on TV at the 1993 worlds.

    The advantage of height is that the skater can look very elegant, with long lines, particularly in some moves like the camel spin, spiral. The obvious disadvantage is that it's harder to be a consistent jumper, but Kostner was a very consistent jumper early in her career.

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    Volchkova was taller. She was only 5'6 or 168 cms, but I always thought she looked long, and it made her look more striking. She did sometimes appear sluggish.

    1999 Europeans SP
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPzYxUF0OSQ
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-25-2013 at 08:09 AM.

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    Butyrskaya, who also looked imposing to me, was really less than 5'3 (160 cm), the same height as Slutskaya. Both were slightly taller than Michelle Kwan at 5'2 (158 cm) and of course Cohen at 4'11 (145 cm). Okay please do not make fun of me for finding these things interesting...

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    Sasha Cohen isn't 4'11". I'm 4'11" and she's a few inches taller than me. I'd say she's 5'1" or 5'2"...

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    She has grown since she went through puberty last year.

    Her ISU bio has her at 4'11, but you are probably right that she is closer to 5'1 or 5'2. That may be from 2001 or older.
    Last edited by TheIronLady; 01-25-2013 at 09:10 AM.

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    Didn't Lisa Marie Allen stand nearly 6ft in her skates?
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Agnes Zawadzki is about 5'7''

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Polina Korobeynikova from Russia is very tall. I'd say she's pushing 5'7.
    Yeah, she is pushing 5'7 according to her ISU bio. I think she uses her long arms beautifully, and she is a popular skater with fans, I think, because of her balletic limbs. On the flip side, she looks like she has to strain twice as hard as to achieve some of the the levels.

    Polina Korobeynikova 2012 Worlds SP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Didn't Lisa Marie Allen stand nearly 6ft in her skates?
    She was 5'8" and though long-limbed she was big. Yet she did at least 1 triple (not bad for the late 70's early 80's). Her jumps were like Boitano's - not quick into rotation, but a lot of height. But she was always second to Linda Fratianne. I think her last Nationals was 1981 but injury prevented her from overtaking Zayak and Hill.

    She was extremely glamorous. A very pretty blonde.
    Last edited by aliceanne; 01-25-2013 at 09:50 AM.

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    Sasha Cohen was definitely not 4'11

    Ksenia Makarova is also a tall skater

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    Being tall and long-limbed gives a skater beautiful lines and the skater shows up better on the ice (especially live), but it is considered a disadvantage when it comes to rotating in the air. More height/weight = slower rotation. The skater therefore has to jump higher which is a particular problem for the women.

    I believe one of the Helgessons is 5'7". Rory Flack looked quite tall.

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    Joshi Helgesson is 5'7"
    Sarah Hecken is 5'7"
    Kiira Korpi is listed as 5'6" but I think she's likely pushing 5'7" judging from pictures
    Ksenia Makarova is listed as almost 5'6" (167 cm) on her ISU bio, but lists her height as 170 cm (5'7") on social media sites
    Polina Shelepen is listed as almost 5'6" (167 cm) on the Russian site, her ISU bio says 163 cm (5'4") but that hasn't been changed for a couple seasons and she looks much taller than that
    Not that she's a top skater but Elena Glebova is 166 cm so about 5'5.5" and has a very striking appearance on the ice.
    Cynthia Phanuef was 5'7" or at least 5'6"

    Apart from Agnes, the US doesn't have any really tall top level skaters but Christina Gao, Alissa Czisny, and Gracie Gold are all around 5'5" according to their bios. Barbie Long also looks pretty tall, listed a 5'4" but she's likely grown since the bio was last updated and is maybe closer to 5'6" by now.

    Anyways it seems like 5'7" is the cutoff height for ladies skaters these days, quite a few between 5'5" and 5'7" are successful, but it's rare to see an internationally competitive lady over 170 cm.

    Also icenetwork lists Sasha as 5'2". I think she's likely pushing that, definitely more than 4'11" at least. And I have a hard time believing Tuktamysheva is 159 cm....maybe in skates. She is really really small. I would guess more like 149 cm barefoot, I would be surprised if she's over 5 feet and think 4'10" or 4'11" is more likely.

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    How tall was Shizuka? She was taller than Irina and Sasha

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    Rory Flack looked pretty tall on the TV screen- not sure of her real height.

    If we are considering pairs skaters too, Tai Babilonia has to be the tallest. She looked as tall as her partner Randy Gardner.

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    Emily Hughes was 5' 6", I believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Rory Flack looked pretty tall on the TV screen- not sure of her real height.

    If we are considering pairs skaters too, Tai Babilonia has to be the tallest. She looked as tall as her partner Randy Gardner.
    Jo Jo Starbuck and Sandra Bezic were as tall as their partners as well as well. Debbi Wilkes actually grew taller than her partner. It gave the early teams great synchronicity but they couldn't do triple twists.

    It's also interesting to note that 3 of these North American teams were paired up in childhood and stayed together throughout their careers. Now they likely would have been broken up and a smaller female sought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robinhood View Post
    How tall was Shizuka? She was taller than Irina and Sasha
    About 5'5"-5'6". She was listed as 166 cm on her ISU bio.

    I also wonder about the height of Yu Na Kim. She's always listed as 5'4" or 5'4.5", but looking at her, she appears to be more 5'5" or 5'6". I wonder if she maybe grew a few cm slowly over the last few seasons and her height simply was not updated, meaning is is more 166-167 cm now instead of the 163-164 cm she was as a teenager but is still listed as being. It could just be her build though.

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