Koster at the 2008 Worlds was one of those awful moments alot of people probably stopped watching skating. Fortunately there hasnt been a judging decision quite that bad since then.
I dont like when people say outright so and so would have done so and so more if they were from another country either, but it also would be silly to deny skaters coming from bigger and more powerful federations like Russia, Japan, U.S would have a natural advantage over someone like Kim coming from a country with no skating history and no strong federation. It would be silly to think this has no effect. It makes her achievements all the more impressive, and another reason I would pick her over Kwan.
Lets say Kwan was from Korea, would she have the same career she has now or even close to it? Sorry I cant imagine, although I am sure she would have won atleast 1 World title at one point, but nothing like the success she had. Kim being from a stronger country with a stronger federation probably would have achieved even more, I wont say specific events, but in general this is a boost to any skaters chances. Yet even with this Kim still has managed to have a similar or slightly better career than Michelle, and if she wins next years Olympics distinctly better.
It's all conjecture. Nobody knows what Kwan could have done had she been given the same opportunities and push Yu Na Kim had that contributed to her early training and success. Again, I think it makes no since to compare eras since Kim benefitted from the technical and artistic strides the skaters in Kwan's era made just as how Kwan definitely benefitted from the likes of Yamaguchi, Ito, Harding, etc. I think coaches (especially the developmental ones) observe the direction in which the top skaters of that time are taking skating and are finding ways in which their up-and-coming skaters can not only succeed the way the top skaters are succeeding but also stand out and maybe improve on what the dominant skaters are doing. I mean Kwan was undeniably a source of inspiration for Kim.
This is not meant to take anything away from Kim because she's obviously an extremely rare case in that she really is technically so sound that she's nearly unbeatable with this scoring system if she skates well.
I do agree with you on one point though. I really did almost quit watching skating due to the ladies results at 2008 Worlds despite being so happy that Buttle and Delobel/Schoenfelder won. After seeing Nakano score and place the way she did, and seeing that mess Kostner put out win a medal...I could not gel with COP (and I still have lingering animosity towards it). Of course, now I love Kostner and actually want her to win gold over Asada and Kim (though I do like Asada even if I don't like her LPs as of late).
Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 08-29-2013 at 04:50 AM.
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce
I can't believe Kwan is not winning. It's true her jumps are not as good as Kim's but she had qualities of line that Kim does not. People also cried during Kwan's performances. Are folks choosing technical difficulty and speed over elegance and art? I guess it is the age old competition that dates back to the 80s of the artist vs the athlete. Both Kwan and Kim embody aspects of both archetypes, but Kwan arguably achieved more with audience emotion.
Last edited by TheIronLady; 08-29-2013 at 05:19 AM.
I think people are also considering the titles and the domination Kim has. It's hard to deny Kim since she has won the Olympic Gold medal and has won it in a pretty dominant fashion, and recently won 2013 Worlds in a similarly dominant way. People are acting as if Kim already has the second gold medal in the bag, but with the way she's scored and actually rises to the occasion compared to her closest competitors, I'd say it's a pretty educated guess.
If Kwan had two more judges go her way in Nagano, then I think she could have had a stronger argument in her favor. I still voted for Kwan though for reasons outside titles.
"Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce
I have no intention of knocking Michelle (I am proud of myself for holding out so far and not voting on this perfidious poll ), but Yuna is just as strong artistically, IMO, as she is is athletically. Even Michelle acknowledges this openly. For sure, Michelle was a formative figure in the young Yuna's life, which Yuna also openly acknowledges. They are not contemporaries, so this is not a zero-sum game; to say Yuna is a complete skater should not be seen as detracting from Michelle, which is, it sometimes seems to me, how some of Michelle's fans choose to take it.
And how about Jeffrey Buttle, an artistic skater if there ever was one, and one of the up-and-coming choreographers on everyone's radar. Here are some of the things he had to say about Yuna in his recent interview on The Skating Lesson (from about 50:00 to 50:30): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=3Vr6_rb7iRc
"...when she started working with David, he really brought something out of her, like a passion, really managed to get her heart on her sleeve, her soul became more visible..."
"...she just moved so naturally..."
"...her arms are hypnotic...I don't know anyone who can move her arms like she does...I don't know how she does it..."
Particularly when listened to rather than just read, these are not the words of someone hemming and hawing (curiously, Jeff does his hemming and hawing when describing Mao, with whom he has presumably worked more closely; the best he could come up with was that Mao was really really (really) nice, not a mean bone in her body...). His comments describing Yuna's aesthetic qualities strike one as spontaneous, fluent, enthusiastic, dare I say, even impassioned? Almost like a uber, in short. Welcome to the club, Jeffrey.
The way I made the decision was-
The question is who is the better skater, not who has the OGM. In terms of world titles Kwan is still ahead of Kim (5 vs 2). In terms of Olympic medals Kwan is still at a 2-1 advantage (that will change in 2014). IMO the only things Kim has over Kwan are- 1) An OGM, 2) a 3Lz-3t combination. Kim is an amazing skater and when her career comes to an end (or even before that- say in Sochi with a second OGM), she could surpass kwan. However, right now, in terms of career alone, Kwan has an advantage. She had a much longer career, more championships, and 9 US title in a very competitive field (unlike Kim who has an easy title in her home country).
On top of that, Kwan had an amazing ability to connect with the music and with the audience. She had many signature moves (e.g. COE spiral, falling leafs). Right now I can't think of one for Kim, although she is a beautiful skater and artist too.
Barring a skating order in 1998, Kwan would have been the undisputed queen- she did deliver a clean SP & a clean LP- and we wouldn't be seeing a lopsided win for Kim in this poll.
One could also say the only thing Kwan has over Kim is more appearances at Worlds (and as a result more titles). Kwan has 5 World titles to Kim's 2 but she appeared in 12 or 13 Worlds. Kim in 6 Worlds has 2 titles, 2 silver, 2 bronze, so about same success rate, and is probably the only skater who had a long career to never fail to medal at Worlds. Kim has also won the long program 4 times at Worlds, and the short program 4 times, so is a bit unlucky to only get 2 titles out of htat. So Kwan has more titles and medals but isnt anymore productive. In such a long career Kwan could only defend her World title once. OK Kim never has thus far, but she did win Worlds and Olympics back to back which is more important.
The biggest event in skating is the Olympics. This is indisputed. Second is Worlds. Third is U.S Nationals for Kwan but Kim couldnt compete in that so we cant count that. Next biggest for both is the Grand Prix final. So Kim is much better than Kwan in both the biggest event of all and the next biggest event both can do after Worlds, with Kwan only better in the second biggest event due to having a longer career. In the general grand prix and smaller scale events, Kim is also more dominant than Kwan, even though both were irregular participients at both points in their career.
Overall Kim has the better career. She dominated everywhere- Olympics, World, Grand Prix final, regular grand prix. Kwan only dominated one place- Worlds, that and U.S Nationals. I would rather Kim's career than Kwan's.
As for who is the better skater Kim is a much better technical skater and almost as good an artistic skater so that would be her too. Prime to prime Kim would win most confrontations between them under either scoring system. I dont think Kwan could have ever beaten a clean Kim. She would have had to wait for Kim to make mistakes to hope to beat her, it would be like Butyrskaya or Hughes or Lipinski facing Kwan, except Kwan would be relegated to being Lipinski or Butyrskaya or Hughes.
Last edited by usova94gold; 08-29-2013 at 10:23 PM.
No, Kwan could not have beaten Kim because they trained under two completely different systems and two very different times in FS history. Had Kim skated when Kwan was at her peak, quite possibly Kwan would have beaten her. She was one of the best competitors in ladies FS history. Also she never took a break from worlds. Kim did, to recuperate.
The question regarding Yuna was also typically broad (something along the lines of 'how did you get involved and what was it like working with her'), but through the usual chain of free-associative-speaking-out-loud, Jeff started moving away from the original question, barely touching on what it was like working with her, to, instead, talk in detail about the changes he saw after she started working with David Wilson, the particular aesthetic qualities that he quite clearly admires in Yuna, and so on. This pattern is par for the course for interviews as a format, and makes for interesting commentary.
While acknowledging your point, Jeffrey answered the Mao question in a very narrow way, although it was quite evident from the way Jenny built up the question at the beginning that this was also supposed to be a highlight moment. He kept circling the same point, that she was polite and kind ("everything you'd expect a Japanese woman to be", or something to that effect), really nice, and actually I don't really know her at all, and doesn't have a mean bone in her body, and, hardworking, and sweet, and, oh, did I mention she was nice...? At the end, both Jenny and Dave were looking away somewhat awkwardly.
I just thought that the almost "no comment" nature of the comment, and the lack of any evolution and development in the response, was somewhat curious.
What I really got out of that is that Mao, despite a sunny and friendly public persona, is probably just as hard to get to really know as the supposedly (if we are to believe the descriptions of some of her detractors) more imperious Yuna. Which makes sense to me. They are both superstars, and a bland sunniness is just as serviceable (and is sometimes better) as armor against a prying world as a seemingly aloof reserve.
My main point, though, was that, by comparison, Jeff's recounting of Yuna's aesthetics was full-throated, done with pith and point (by way of contrast with some of the opinions on this thread).
Last edited by Robeye; 08-30-2013 at 08:15 AM.
the thread is fuming
Both are great champions. Kwan's career proves several things, including that the Olympics are overrated. I do not believe that all OGMs are created equal. For example. Oksana Baiul's OGM is not equal in weight to Tara Lipinski's or Sarah Hughes' OGM, because Oksana's competition was not as great as Lipinski's and especially Hughes'. Also, I think Kwan's 98 Olympic performances were better than the ones Oksana or even Shizuka won Olympics with. That said, it takes a whole lot of intangibles for anyone to skate the best in an Olympics. Where am I going with all of this? Yu Na's performances in the 2010 Olympics were amazing, but I wonder if it would have been any different had she faced more pressure from stiffer competition a la Kwan.
Last edited by Kwantumleap; 08-30-2013 at 04:13 PM.
One thing that's apparent when watching them skate side by side: Kwan is better at moving fluidly. Her movements emanate from her core. Kim is fluid too, but not to the level that Kwan is. Imho.