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  1. #1
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    Who was the better skater- Slutskaya or Lipinski

    Putting their medals and achievements aside who was the better skater in their primes, Slutskaya or Lipinski. Tara managed more in terms of World and Olympic titles in 13 months than Slutskaya her whole career. Slutskaya was a much more powerful jumper and spinners, but Tara was much more consistent pulling off the hard triple-triples. Artistically both were mediocre.

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    LIpinski's senior career was two seasons and she really ran herself into the ground being the absolute best she could be or anyone could be at the time and it really worked it for her so that she was world champion and Olympic champiOn. But there has to be something said for having some longevity in the sport!! Maybe that doesn't make slutskaya better then Lipinski but slutskyas amazing triumph in 2005 Moscow worlds is totally like Lipinski winning the Olympics to me.
    Last edited by caseyedwards; 04-16-2013 at 02:55 AM.

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    True, Tara really broke her body giving 120% to the sport for a short time. She wasnt good enough to medal let alone win without doing things like the triple loop-triple loop every single competition, and that is what broke her body and forced her to retire at only 15. That doesnt speak favorably to her ability in a certain sense.

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    Slutskaya. Much more power, better jumper, far more interesting programs. But then, I admit a bias as I have never, ever liked Lipinski. Absolutely nothing about her skating appealed to me and the fact that she managed to win Worlds and the Olympics still grates.

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    Nothing to take away from Tara's very impressive accomplishments (wasn't she also the youngest world champion in ladies skating?) or her skating, but even without the OGM, I'd say that hands down, Irina Slutskaya was the better skater.
    BTW, did Tara turn professional because of her (hip?) injury, or did that develop after she started skating with SOI and other professional shows?

    ETA: I do wonder how Tara would continue to develop as a skater had she stayed relatively healthy & injury free and stayed in eligible competition.

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    I think Tara was the better competitor though. She has beaten a clean Kwan and I dont believe Irina ever has, despite that the judges were way more willing to place a clean Irina over a clean Kwan than they were Tara. For Tara that was a much harder task yet she still managed it and Irina didnt, which just shows how much stronger mentally she is. She managed something that was thought to be impossible for her and still did it somehow, while for Irina she couldnt even manage things that people thought were supposably easy for her (winning the 02 and 06 Olympics, winning the 00 and 01 Worlds, etc....). Irina only managed 1 World gold + 1 World gold in a 12 year career, and Tara managed 1 Olympic Gold + 1 World gold in a 2 year career.

    So Irina the better skater, but Tara the better competitor.

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    Other than the 2axel and the flying camel, Lipinski was the better skater. They both had strong basics but by 1998 Lipinski had already developed good poise and line whereas Slute never did. Lipinski was also much more polished and dare I say, expressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wristflick View Post
    I think Tara was the better competitor though. She has beaten a clean Kwan and I dont believe Irina ever has.
    Irina beat a clean Michelle many times in the short program. It became frustrating after awhile and felt like Kwan would never be put above a clean Irina in the short program, unless it was in the United States at the Olympics. As far as the long program goes, it went both ways. Slutskaya never beat a clean Kwan (2000 worlds and 2001 worlds) but Kwan also never beat a clean Slutskaya (2005 worlds and 2000 GPF). Was there EVER a time when both ladies were clean in both segments of the competition? The closest might be 2000 worlds but Kwan was very shaky in the short and Slutskaya downgraded her jumps in the long.

    As for the original question, I liked Lipinski much better but I think Slutskaya was the better skater overall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    Was there EVER a time when both ladies were clean in both segments of the competition?
    No, but at 2002 Worlds both were clean in the long with 6 triples and Slute won it. But then again Kwan did not control her destiny and it was a moot point. I personally would have had Kwan won the long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fenway2 View Post
    It became frustrating after awhile and felt like Kwan would never be put above a clean Irina in the short program
    I think that is perception more than reality. Kwan won the short program at Worlds/Olympics 5 times in her career. Slutskaya only 3 times, matched by the number of times Sasha Cohen has (also 3). Maria Butyrskaya even has won the short program at Worlds/Olympics 2 times, coming closer to the # of times Slutskaya has, than Slutskaya comes to Kwan.

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    Slutskaya by far. Slutskaya had a 14-year career, and kept skating even after her illness was diagnosed. Her medal total is incredible: two Olympic medals; two World Championships, and four other World medals; 7 European championships and two Euro silver medals; 4 Grand Prix Final championships and 5 GPF medals; a Junior World Championship; 4 Russian Championships and 5 National medals.

    Lipinski's international career spanned 4 seasons. She won Olympic and World gold, and had a 15th place at an earlier World Championship. She won two "Champion Series" titles but ironically never won a GP event. She won just one US title. She never won Junior Worlds. Tara's goal was the 1998 OGM, and she did achieve that, but in the process severely damaged her hip by overpracticing her 3lo/3lo combination. After winning the OGM she immediately went pro, touring in SOI. If she had continued as an eligible, her damaged hip would have prevented her from performing at a high level again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    No, but at 2002 Worlds both were clean in the long with 6 triples and Slute won it. But then again Kwan did not control her destiny and it was a moot point. I personally would have had Kwan won the long.
    I would have had Kwan first in the long too.

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    At the time they were competing, Tara was better.

    If comparing them at the height of their careers, Irina was better at jumps, spins, and footwork.

    Furthermore, as much as Tara likes to insist she had a post-retirement 3Lz/3Lp, we all know Irina's must have been bigger with better edges.

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    Tara.
    "I hit him with my shoes... if he had given me the medal like I told him to, I wouldn't have had to hit him!" -- 8-year-old Rhoda Penmark in "The Bad Seed"

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    I think that is perception more than reality. Kwan won the short program at Worlds/Olympics 5 times in her career. Slutskaya only 3 times.
    Of the 5 times Kwan won the short program that you list, for three of them Slutskaya either wasn't at the competition or had major errors. So I do believe a clean Kwan had trouble beating clean Slutskaya in the short. Slutskaya beat a clean Kwan in the short program at 2000 Skate Canada, 2001 Masters, 2001 Goodwill Games, 2000 Worlds, 2001 Worlds, 2005 Worlds and one of the USFSA cheezefests vs. Kwan defeating a clean Slutskaya at 1996 worlds and controversially at the 2002 Olympics. Post 2000 Kwan needed help to defeat Slutskaya.

    ETA: Kwan being clean at 2000 worlds is very debatable but I think the tide had already turned by then. Kwan wasn't beating a clean Slutskaya at that point, unless it was on American soil.

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    I really do wonder how a Slutskaya/Lipinski rivalry would have played out if it had been Kwan who had retired after 1998 and Lipinski continuing on (and did not suffer a hip problem). Lipinski certainly had speed (and ice coverage) and difficult jumps like Slutskaya, but Slutskaya had bigger jumps and better jump technique. As for as spins...Slutskaya would have an advantage there as well, but I don't know what Lipinski would have done to improve in that regard. Michelle Kwan was never able to match Slute's speed in her spins, but she sure made sure they were centered and had variety of positions done cleanly (even though Slute had a better layback position and could do a Biellman).

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    WOW, tough question. I don't like Slutskaya's skating, and I think Tara was more talented and had more speed.
    But Irina Slutskaya had a better overall technique, IMO.

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    Tara had tidier form. Irina was sloppy.

    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    Tara's goal was the 1998 OGM, and she did achieve that, but in the process severely damaged her hip by overpracticing her 3lo/3lo combination. After winning the OGM she immediately went pro, touring in SOI. If she had continued as an eligible, her damaged hip would have prevented her from performing at a high level again.
    Tara herself said that the hip was a "huge misconception" about why she quit skating. In fact she continued to do triples into 2002 (the surgery was in 2000.) After Olys she claimed that turning pro was so that her parents could live together again.

    If her hip was hurting that badly, she would not have been doing triples two weeks after surgery in order to perform in a show (way too fast of a comeback from that surgery IMO.) Also continuing to do triples for at least another two years after that.

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    Tara did 2a and 3t in her SOI gig---none of the hard triples. She had surgery on her hip and returned to skating too early and developed arthritis in her hip. Going from cold rink to cold rink aggravated the arthritis and she began to miss rehearsals and shows, which was very disruptive to the other cast members. She finally quit the tour and focused on an acting career which didn't work out.

    A few years after she left SOI, she appeared in an interview during US Nationals, where she spoke about her hip injury. At that time she said she had been experiencing pain for about a year before the Olympics, but doctors couldn't determine what was wrong. She said although the hip injury (the same one that Kwan and Czisny had) ended her competitive career, winning the OGM was worth it, and she would do it all over again. But she complained about the bad publicity she got and didn't understand why she wasn't as beloved by skating fans as other skaters.

    Then in last year's rejuvenation, commenting for IceNetwork, she made light of the hip injury and pretty much denied everything she had said in the US Nationals interview.

    I guess it depends on which story fans choose to believe.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by euterpe View Post
    Tara did 2a and 3t in her SOI gig---none of the hard triples. She had surgery on her hip and returned to skating too early and developed arthritis in her hip. Going from cold rink to cold rink aggravated the arthritis and she began to miss rehearsals and shows, which was very disruptive to the other cast members. She finally quit the tour and focused on an acting career which didn't work out.

    A few years after she left SOI, she appeared in an interview during US Nationals, where she spoke about her hip injury. At that time she said she had been experiencing pain for about a year before the Olympics, but doctors couldn't determine what was wrong. She said although the hip injury (the same one that Kwan and Czisny had) ended her competitive career, winning the OGM was worth it, and she would do it all over again. But she complained about the bad publicity she got and didn't understand why she wasn't as beloved by skating fans as other skaters.

    Then in last year's rejuvenation, commenting for IceNetwork, she made light of the hip injury and pretty much denied everything she had said in the US Nationals interview.

    I guess it depends on which story fans choose to believe.
    For awhile Tara was the poster girl for the folly of allowing young girls to train triple jumps. The age for Worlds and Olympic competition was raised to 16 supposedly to prevent this. Maybe she just got tired of being associated with a career-ending injury instead of being an Olympic champion so now chooses to de-emphsize it, or maybe USFSA asked her not to bring it up.

    Tara and Irina both had a lot of charisma on the ice, they were extroverted skaters. Irina obviously spent a lot more time in the public eye so is more memorable.

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