I swear, it's getting beyond ridiculous . It kills me that there have been this many Skater A vs. Kim, Kim vs. Kwan or Who's the best polls and we're only a few weeks removed from the end of the season. I realize it's the off-season and topics of discussion are limited at best but someone can surely come up with something better than another best ever poll...right?
Whatever. Back to Off the Beaten Track I go...
Look at the user id of those who always post a poll about the "best" female skater.
And most recently, Maofan7 made "kim would be best skater when she hit 2 OGM in sochi?"
And Osmond vs kim thread was made by canadian figureskating fan.
And Sotnikova vs kim thread was made by sotnikova's bot.
Let Yuna alone...
Last edited by karlon; 05-08-2013 at 05:41 PM.
Figure skating may never have been or will be as big as major league sports or Nascar, but it's always enjoyed a following, along with extensive coverage of competitions and prime time tv specials going back to the days when most only had access to about a dozen tv channels, so in other words, it had its fair share of voice in the media. And it's always been one of the marquee events of the Winter Olympics.
Tonya vs Nancy didn't make skating popular - it simply boosted interest beyond the traditional fanbase at a time when the media universe - ie opportunities for coverage - were expanding rapidly. In addition, it happened during the unusual period when the Winter Olympics were held just two years apart, so even the "4-year fans" were more active that usual. Capitalizing on that heightened interest, a lot of players jumped on the bandwagon - promoters, agents, tour companies, tv producers, etc. Then post SLC scandal, many worried about skating losing popularity - but IMO, it was simply returning to normal, back to pre-1994. In the interim, the media universe as exploded, so while figure skating is still popular, it now competes for share of voice in a much bigger arena.
And, with the internet, fans can now participate directly in the debates and thus the rise of more rivalries and debate, instead of just whatever ABC, CBC and the like wanted to sell us.
I am personally shocked when the best ever polls don't include Ludmila Neledina. She had a triple axel, and the most gorgeous spins ever.
I consider Witt very innovative. She brought a more modern, musically engaging, and theatrical aesthetic as far as I can see, but that could easily go unnoticed by fans who started watching after this style became a mainstay. She was also technically strong in some areas, like landing the first triple flip, but if you weren't actually following that when it happened you're more likely to say "whatever, she only did four triples in 88." If Kwan or Kim had landed a jumping "first" (especially Kim) it would have been all over the internet, first the articles about her attempting it, the debates on here of will she land it and will others now need it, youtubes of the attempts, tweets from the competition practices, live streaming of the event, analysis of the protocol, debate about how many points it should be worth, discussion of whether it's too much of a risk... and that would remain in peoples' minds even if they rarely or never did that jump again.
It's natural that these discussions tend towards the recent, and not only in figure skating. The internet really pushes it to the top. It's the difference between seeing the skater 2-3 times a year at Nats/Euros/Olys/Worlds to seeing all these events plus Grand Prix, B events, and cheesefests live or nearly live with all of the anticipation and quarterbacking that entails. It just makes every little thing that happens now seem so important.
I agree with you, that these past skaters deserve their due, I'm just not surprised that they aren't discussed as much. I think FSU does a fairly good job, really... floskate and Maofan7, in particular, post a lot of informative stuff.
Nobody before the mid 80s current skating fans (for the most part) even know much about, and while they might admire, especialy Lynn, Fleming, Hamill, etc...dont know enough about to make an educated guess or claim or even opinion of them being the best ever. I dont think it is so much people just assume those are inferior, just that they are in a different time altogether and cant even accurately be compared as being better or worse. Amongst modern day champions the only ones who even come close to Kwan or Kim in achievements or status would be Witt, Yamaguchi, and maybe Slutskaya and of those:
Witt- was a great champion and competitor but not the best skater, even in her own era there were better skaters even though she always managed to beat them.
Yamaguchi- most people seem to think she was kind of boring, atleast as an amateur. Most everyone agrees she deserved her wins, but she wasnt the most memorable either.
Slutskaya- most seem to regard her as a sloppy and overrated skater (rightly or wrongly) and she usually lost to Kwan when it counted, unless one factors events like the Grand Prix final heavily.
Well, I foresee the next poll as "Kim or Michelle or Yuna or Kwan. Which do you prefer?
A. Calling them by their first name.
B. Calling them by their last name.
Do tell. Curious minds would like to know!!!
You mess with the bull, you get the horns; words to live by, to my mind. - Robeye
No, I was being sarcastic. I think she was known for having one of the most hideous camel spins ever. Other than the Axel, she was fairly bad.Ludmila Nelidina only had a triple axel, and that was before COP started dinging skaters for ur. I don't know if she would have survived that. She was nowhere when compared to top skaters. She cannot be on the 'best ever' list- ever. I don't have a personal dislike for Nelidina; actually I would have liked to see her develop as a skater, but she did not (not sure why- injuries?)
I think because the other sports have results that aren't dependent on subjective/objective judging. Yes, there might be questionable referee calls or other such human factors, but skating is not unlike other judged sports where people debate the merits of one's actual skill rather than just results.
Look at the way football fans debate and analyze who is the best quarterback. It's a team sport, but there's still a lot of subjective debate regarding the objective numbers of yards, passes, interception, handling of pressure, etc. If we're just going by number of titles, you'd hear more support that Eli Manning is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning. And yet, that's not the case at all.
I would say Yagudin and Gordeeva & Grinkov won more then enough to be considered the best ever. Part of why they didn't win even more was either injury for Yagudin or going pro with Gordeeva & Grinkov after 1990 but when they competed they both were dominate.