Well if the definition of being a legend is as the OP put it:hugely popular, famous, and beloved in nearly all parts of the World I would say only the following fit that category:
Ladies- Kim Yu Na, Peggy Fleming, Midori Ito, Janet Lynn, Katarina Witt, Sonja Henjie
Men- Kurt Browning, Dick Button, Evgeny Plushenko, Toller Cranston, John Curry, Robin Cousins, Scott Hamilton, Alexei Yagudin
Pairs- Gordeeva & Grinkov, Shen & Zhao, Underhill & Martini, Miskutienok & Dmitriev, Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze
Dance- Torvill & Dean, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Virtue & Moir
I don't see the Worldwide popularity and fame to call Kwan, Davis & White, Peizerat & Anissina, Irina Rodnina legends, but that doesn't imply they are any less great of skaters as some who are legends. Just that they didn't have the same whole World impact or fame. Maybe I am wrong on Irina rodnina though and would understand more had I been around in the 70s.
My reaction is just the opposite of yours. Anyone who thinks Kwan is a Worldwide legend and Kim is not right now is a huge ROTFL!
Michelle is a legend in skating. I can tell you that in N America, the general public has no idea who Yu Na Kim is in the same way you say Michelle is invisible in Asia.
There is no way you can deny in the skating world, Michelle is not a legend. She has 5 world titles and two Olympic Medals. Everyone in the skating world in Asia knows Michelle. Isn't she Yu Na's idol? Why would some no name be her idol?
People in this thread just focus on North America this, North America that, as if North America were the whole World. They say skating was most popular when Kwan competed but the only place in the World this was true was North America. Skating is doing just fine in other places these days without Kwan. As for the North America part even that isn't entirely so. Skating popularity in the U.S peaked with the Battle of Brians, followed by the Harding and Kerrigan scandal years later. Kwan just helped keep it up there awhile longer, but it didn't reach a new all time height. Skating popularity in Canada peaked in the Browning, Stojko, Orser, Manley, days.
Of course the United States aren't interested in skating anymore (in Canada it is quite popular again with Chan and Virtue & Moir doing well, and just as much or more as it was most of the Kwan years, and Kwan was never the biggest reason Canadians watched skating to begin with). They only care when they have someone on top in the ladies and they don't since Kwan and Cohen are gone. Kim cant provide them with that, nor can Davis & White and Lysacek, and that is all they care about. They had it for years with Albright, Heiss, Fleming, Hamill, Thomas, Yamaguchi, Lipnski, Kwan, Cohen, and now they don't anymore, so skating is nothing for them until that American lady singles star who wins titles comes along again, or another gory story like Harding and Kerrigan (the best example of all how American popular equalling Worldwide legacy is a huge LOL). That is the last thing that proves someones Worldwide legacy.
Last edited by kuzytalent; 10-31-2013 at 12:43 AM.
You said Yuna is this big star all over the world, and I am telling you that in the USA, she is not a big star (outside of skating fans). I live in the USA I don't live in Asia or Europe so I cannot say if she is popular there. But I can tell you here she is not a household name. Not sure why you find that bothersome? Am I not supposed to give you information about Yu Na's popularity in the US just because I live in the US?
Anyway I brought it up because you told me that Michelle is not a household name in Asia.
Most skaters are most popular in their home country.
So my point is that being a legend in skating should not be determined on who is a household name.
Everyone who is a skating fan knows Michelle's legacy.
Sigh. The Kwan-was-only-popular-in-North America myth again. Of course, if your barometer for popularity is based on the knowledge of the global, general public or the once-every-4-years fans, then no skaters would make the cut. If you poll real skating fans and actual skaters, then Kwan would surely make the list.
Maybe someone should ask Yu Na if she considers Kwan a legend. Considering how many skaters from all over the world list Kwan as an influence/favorite (Kim, Kostner, Lepisto, Suguri, Korpi, Rochette, to name a few), I'd say she's popular enough worldwide.
^^ I agree. From a non-American: Michelle Kwan is a fairly well recognized name and face in my part of the world too, even among the casual viewers.
Also, that Kwan may not be as popular overseas as she is in the US doesn't mean that she is so completely unknown that it should affect her status as "legendary". Irina fans in Russia (or elsewhere), for example, will know who she is, just as Kwan fans in the US know who Irina is. I don't think popularity is a good test, because it varies. For example, I recall reading that, around 1998, Michelle was extremely popular in Japan; her popularity there seems to have decreased over time, especially as more and more Japanese skaters became prominent.
Oh God-I knew this subject would bring out the uber Plushenko-ites and their statistics and their rabid demand that their god win every imaginary contest.
People, if I never saw Plushenko skate again, I would be happy because you guys just wear me out. You turn me off to him. being a fan is great. Being an unrelenting presence is boring, boring boring.
Yes, I prefer Yagudin. Does that men I don't respect Plushy? No-I've said repeatedly he's a great skater. By all means put him in the Legends Club. It isn't a contest to see who is the best skater!
Why do you have to turn everything into a Yags-versus Plush contest?? Is it that important to you?
BTW-I'd put Kwan in there too, Olympic gold or no.
Dorothy Hammel .. Grishuk/Platov.. Peggy Flemming ... Torvil & Dean
Dick Buttons. .. Victor Petranko
"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"