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  1. #1
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    Will any of the current Russians ever surpass Slutskaya or even Butyrskaya

    Right now the greatest Russian skater in history is bar none Irina Slutskaya, and second best is probably Maria Butyrskaya, despite not winning an Olympic medal. Can any of the current or up and coming Russians ever supplant Slutskaya as the best Russian skater ever, or even Butyrskaya as 2nd best, given what those women achieved. Or any of them that good or even have that kind of potential.

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    I think "best ............ever" is really impossible to label. Such different standards apply to different eras. I would be surprised if any skater was able to match Irina's record of wins. With COP, it seems, there is much more volatility in the scoring, and ability to be in / out, up /down. Used to be if you blew the short, you were finished. And, I don't think we see as many skaters skate two gorgeous programs at competition, after competition....save Yu-na.

    Just my 4 cents.
    DH - and that's just my opinion

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by AxelAnnie View Post
    I think "best ............ever" is really impossible to label. Such different standards apply to different eras. I would be surprised if any skater was able to match Irina's record of wins. With COP, it seems, there is much more volatility in the scoring, and ability to be in / out, up /down. Used to be if you blew the short, you were finished. And, I don't think we see as many skaters skate two gorgeous programs at competition, after competition....save Yu-na.

    Just my 4 cents.
    Maybe so but any skater would still have to win mulitiple World titles and atleast one Olympic medal to be in Irina's league. Since the inception of COP you have had 3 women win mutiple World titles- Kim, Asada, and Ando, and another win a World title and 5 World medals (Kostner). You will see many women in the future pile up the achievements. COP cant be used an excuse for lack of achievement if it doesnt happen.

    Irina did skate in a weaker era. Other than Michelle Kwan she didnt have much competition at the World level, and the European level almost nothing. Butyrskaya had it tougher since she had Kwan, Slutskaya, Lipinski, Chen, Hughes, all generally above her and others like Cohen, Suguri, Gusmeroli, who were close to her level as well. Still I guess given that the current era is a far tougher one than Slutskaya/Butyrskaya skated in one could be considered better with fewer achivements, but would still have to be more by a huge margin than the current Russians have done thus far.

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    I'm assuming that you mean greatest Russian LADIES skater...to answer that I haven't seen anything from the current crop of Russian babies that screams "longevity", but we will certainly see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by personwhoishere View Post
    I'm assuming that you mean greatest Russian LADIES skater...to answer that I haven't seen anything from the current crop of Russian babies that screams "longevity", but we will certainly see.
    Yes I meant ladies singles skater. Longevity alone wouldnt be enough, they need some semblance of dominance which Slutskaya had on certain levels too. Or consistently being near although not quite at the very top like Butyrskaya was.

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    There are so many really talented ladies coming from Russia, I think it is only a matter of time before a Russian lady gets to be on the same level as Bute/Slute.

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    Yup. Their farm is too rich with young talents not to have one or two at that level eventually. They also should have enough knowhow in scouting talents and managing training regimen, the prominence of their ballet and gymnastic programs considered.

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    To be honest, not one of the young Russian ladies has impressed me so far. From what I've seen of them over the past couple of seasons, I can't imagine any of them beating the top Japanese ladies, the second-tier Japanese ladies, Yuna Kim, Ashley Wagner, Carolina Kostner, or Gracie Gold. Of course, it's possible that one of the young Russians will have a breakthrough season this year. It's also possible that some of them will peak later on, like Maria Butyrskaya did. I remember seeing Irina Slutskaya at her first Junior Worlds. She looked like a little kid and wore a dress that resembled a birthday cake. But she had a certain spark, as well as an impressive arsenal of spins. I don't see that from the current Russian ladies.

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    Julia Lipnitskaia is great. I think she'll be a gold winner very soon. After the Olympics when many skaters retire. She is strong mentally + technically. Besides, I see Li having a good future and Gracie Gold if she skates without mistakes on her jumps - she is prone to them..Radionova...too early to tell. I like Karen Chan,but she is also a junior skater. I think Liza T is getting stronger and stronger, but she has psycological problems with her short. So the only one that I'm sure about right now is Julia L. She is outstanding.

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    Lipnitskaya is not my personal favorite, but I do think she is an steely competitor, and able to achieve most her planned content and do it with finesse and polish. If she continues along this path, her PCS will steadily improve. Given that Russia is the host country, if she continues to stand out as the Russian to beat, I think she could challenge for a Olympic medal at Sochi. She is also young and has nothing to lose, while it's a swan song for Carolina and Mao and the pressure is on because it's their last hurrah.

    I also think Radionova, Prolova and Sakhonovich are all fantastic juniors, and one or more of them could possibly rise to the top.

  11. #11

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    Many of the current Russian ladies (Junior and senior) have the talent to reach great heights. Whether they actually do or not is to be seen. Irina's achievements will be harder to surpass, but one OGM and one WC will do it, regardless of the number of Euro/GP/GPF wins. It may be tough to win 5-6 Euros for anyone, but multiple world medals could trump that.

    I hesitate to name the Russian ladies that could do it because it's really hard to make those predictions at such a young age. Maria B. was a late bloomer. Irina, after early success, had to take some steps back before she rose again. I do hope that some of the young ladies will have the kind of longevity Irina and Maria had.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    Irina's achievements will be harder to surpass, but one OGM and one WC will do it
    Not necessarily. Arakawa, Baiul, Lipinski have all won one OGM and one WC and I wouldn't say any of those skaters had a greater career than Irina.

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    Yes, one of the many talented young girls will surpass them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KimGOAT View Post
    Irina did skate in a weaker era. Other than Michelle Kwan she didnt have much competition at the World level, and the European level almost nothing. Butyrskaya had it tougher since she had Kwan, Slutskaya, Lipinski, Chen, Hughes, all generally above her and others like Cohen, Suguri, Gusmeroli, who were close to her level as well. Still I guess given that the current era is a far tougher one than Slutskaya/Butyrskaya skated in one could be considered better with fewer achivements, but would still have to be more by a huge margin than the current Russians have done thus far.
    In a way, Irina skated in a stronger era, because it was defined by her rivalry with Kwan. Shizuka rose to challenge them on occasion, and Sasha Cohen was always waiting in the wings (although she didn't grab the opportunities presented to her, but perhaps that was in part due to living in Kwan's shadow.

    Today we have Koster,and Asada at the top of the pack, and a few others putting in great performances from time to time (i.e. Leonova, Suzuki). And then Kim, who probably has to only show up at the Olympics to earn her second title.

    It's true that COP is more difficult, and that more ladies are doing 3-3s these days - and Mao, with her 3X. During the Kwan/Slute era, ladies were technically stalled.

    However, none of the current ladies have the steady consistency of their predecessors, excepting Kim. Both Kostner and Asada usually make more than two mistakes, where in the Kwan/Slute era, Cohen's usual two mistakes were a serious shortcoming.

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    I think maybe Radionova can (unless the puberty monster hits in a big way), but not any of the current ladies competing in seniors (Lipnitskaya, Tuktamysheva, Sotnikova, Gosviani, Leonova, Makarova, etc.).

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    I think maybe Radionova can (unless the puberty monster hits in a big way), but not any of the current ladies competing in seniors (Lipnitskaya, Tuktamysheva, Sotnikova, Gosviani, Leonova, Makarova, etc.).
    Why not?

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    I don't think Tuk, Sotnikova, Makarova and Leonova are consistent enough. I'd be surprised to see Makarova at Worlds again. Gosviani is pretty consistent but she just doesn't have that spectacular "it" factor of a World/Olympic champion. I don't think Lipnitskaya really does either. I see her as being all about the jumps right now. Radionova actually has the jumps AND a presence.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    In a way, Irina skated in a stronger era, because it was defined by her rivalry with Kwan. Shizuka rose to challenge them on occasion, and Sasha Cohen was always waiting in the wings (although she didn't grab the opportunities presented to her, but perhaps that was in part due to living in Kwan's shadow.

    Today we have Koster,and Asada at the top of the pack, and a few others putting in great performances from time to time (i.e. Leonova, Suzuki). And then Kim, who probably has to only show up at the Olympics to earn her second title.

    It's true that COP is more difficult, and that more ladies are doing 3-3s these days - and Mao, with her 3X. During the Kwan/Slute era, ladies were technically stalled.

    However, none of the current ladies have the steady consistency of their predecessors, excepting Kim. Both Kostner and Asada usually make more than two mistakes, where in the Kwan/Slute era, Cohen's usual two mistakes were a serious shortcoming.
    When it comes to consistency I see no difference. The Kwan/Slutskaya era had one consistent skater- Kwan. Slutskaya looks consistent compared to most skaters but she really isnt. In World and Olympic events she only skated her best twice ever (in what, 14 tries), and not coincidentally those were the only two she ever won. Maybe that isnt even true, her only spectacular skate in easily winning the 2002 Worlds was the short program, and she had mistakes in the short program and built in deductions in the long of her 2005 World title. Yet of the Kwan era she was the 2nd most consistent. Todays era has only one consistent skater- Kim. Pretty much the same thing.

    Cohen as funny as it sounds was one of the most consistent long term skaters of the Kwan days. Butyrskaya, Suguri, Gusmeroli, adult Chen (teenage Chen pre Kwan was much more consistent), Arakawa were in no way consistent, and all even less so than Cohen. Shizuka managed to win a World and Olympic title but she is the icon of inconsistent. Look at her career- 13th Olympics, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, DNQ, 8th, 1st, 9th, 1st.


    Still given Irina's record in other areas- Grand Prix final titles, European titles, longevity, Olympic and World medals, I would say a Russian skater would need 3, and possibly even 4 World titles to surpass Irina. Although 2 World titles and an Olympic Gold to go with it would probably be enough, regardless of other facets of the career.

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