neither, someone else
Last edited by berthesghost; 07-22-2013 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Oops... Mistook 2000 worlds for 2001. Maria won the SP in Nice.
How is it that one poll says that Michelle had no competition in her era and another says that nearly half of the voters think Irina is a better skater than Michelle?
Kwan was not in her prime in 1995, but I conceded the OP was right on Nicole anyway. Nicole was her own worst enemy with her poor training tactics, laziness, changing coaches. She didnt even choke under pressure so much as show up unprepared most of the time. The judges were Marias worst enemy.
They're neck and neck in terms of overall package. My edge goes to Michelle simply because she was more beautiful to watch. Athleticism is important but at the end of the day Michelle has far too many masterpiece programs (exhibition and competition) in comparison
I voted for Kwan. However it wasnt an easy choice. I thought Kwan was the better skater in 96, 97, 98, 99, 2003. I thought Irina was in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006. So each had 5 seasons they were better than the other. I know Kwan won the 2000 and 2001 Worlds but that just means she was the best competitor at Worlds and had to skate lights out and have Irina make mistakes to win both times. Overall Slutskaya was best skater of boths seasons, but just didnt compete the best in the final long program of Worlds both times. Had Worlds been held 10 times both seasons, Irina would have won atleast 7 of the 10 both times. The period both were in their primes Slutskaya was the better skater most of her time, but Kwan had many more years of being successful before Irina even became more than a bronze contender.
Considering how Slute had only beaten Kwan once before Worlds in 2000 and twice in 2001, who knows. Kwan trained to peak at a certain time during those seasons.
Hmm...the flip was 1/4 underrotated.
The lutz also wasn't very high. I remember her jumps being better and more powerful in 2003.
ETA: In general, Kwan's skating and jumps looked rather "heavy" to me in 2005. Also, because of the new judging system, her precision suffered. She even wobbled on the spiral sequence which you normally would never see from her.
I voted for other. I think Sasha Cohen was the best skater of the decade. The question was skater, not competitor. Best competitor of the Kwan era would be between Kwan and Slutskaya. Best career of the Slutskaya era would also be between Slutskaya and Kwan. Best skater though might be one of them but it also could be someone else. Sasha had best spins, best spirals, best elegance, best lines, best choreography. Irina had best jumps and best footwork and best speed and best spins along with Sasha. Kwan had best basic skating and edge quality. Sasha was best at more things than the other two.
She doesnt have the medals and titles since she wasnt as good a competitor but as a skater she is the best of that era. Chen maybe 2nd best, bobek 3rd, then Kwan and Slutskaya. The greatest champions of that era are Kwan and Slutskaya, but that is largely their mental strength, not that their skating overwhelms all others.
I preferred Irina a bit, to be honest. While I agree that Kwan had the edge in terms of polish and musicality, Irina wasn't without artistry and when her programs suited her skating style and personality, she really brought them to life. Her 2005 FS in Moscow is one of my all-time favs.
However, I think Michelle is the best of the era, because of her consistency and the fact that she earned five world titles - and I think nine national titles?
Kwan is a legend in the sport, at least in North America. Can the same be said about Irina in Russia?
No other Russian lady achieved more than Slutskaya, AFAIK. So she could very well be considered a legend in her home country.
I am sure in the figure skating community Irina is an enormous legend in Russia, and even in all of Europe. Now whether she is one that transcends other sports and to the general non figure skating public even in Russia like Kwan in the U.S is another matter, and I wouldnt have any idea the answer to that.