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Best skater of Kwan/Slutskaya era- Kwan or Slutskaya

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by frillit, Jul 14, 2013.

Best skater of Kwan and Slutskaya era

  1. Slutskaya

    106 vote(s)
  2. Kwan

    142 vote(s)
  3. neither, someone else

    8 vote(s)
  1. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    I'd say that things like "outspinning" and "outjumping" are more important in figure skating than who has the more beautiful ina bauer or split jump, though.
  2. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    The closest example I can think of are their respective free programs from Worlds in 2001.

    With Irina, all I saw were the jumps. With Michelle, I was caught up in the story she was presenting and didn't realise until the last triple lutz just how much content she'd packed into the performance.
  3. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady Well-Known Member

    If artistry, entertainment value, or the quality of the elements are not important, then Slutskaya was perhaps the very best of the era with Yoshie Onda a close second.
  4. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    It's not even about who has the more beautiful of those field moves. It's the fact that she never showcased those elements that suggested a lack of total control and coordination between body and blade.
  5. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

  6. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    I didn't know that crossovers and easy steps sequences now count as technical content :p

    Which elements did she never showcase? Ina bauers, spread eagles, split jumps? She did all of those in various programs, although hers were not admittedly as pretty as Kwan which had also do with Irina's different body type and more athletic style.

    With the same argumentation, I could also ask why Kwan never did a tano double axel or other tano jumps? Oh wait, that's because she did not have the same jumping ability, which singles figure skating is an important part of, and since Irina was clearly better here, it means that Irina must be the better skater between these two :rofl:
  7. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Yep. True.

    If you thought Kwan's routines were empty during this era, then what was Irina's routines? Negative balance? Anyway, Irina didn't really start to have content in-between her routines until COP but then her routines became devoid of any real musical interpretation or coherent choreography. Besides, having "prettier" skating elements doesn't mean it's only prettier but that a skater took time and energy to execute them properly, which is more difficult than doing it as a throw-away move.

    Anyway, Irina had bigger jumps but she didn't always execute them the best way. Kwan's jumps weren't the biggest, but at Worlds, she was able to execute them with excellent flow and position out of the jumps. As for the spinning. Irina was a faster spinner and her layback had a better position. However, other than the Biellman, I found Kwan's to be better centered with more variety of position. People knocked Kwan for not being able to do a Double Biellman the way Irina could, but then nobody asked if Irina could do a double Y-spin the way Kwan did. Could Irina really do a proper arabesque position with a high leg position without the Biellman?
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  8. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I'm not even sure that Irina Slutskaya had better jumps than Michelle Kwan ! Irina jumps higher than Michelle, but in term of jumping technique, Michelle's Flip, Salchow and Toe are, IMO, better than Irina's.
    The Lutz is equal, both were on flat and Irina had a long, long, long entrance.
    Axel and Loop are clearly better by Irina.
  9. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    If Michelle had better technique on the flip, then I wonder why Slutskaya had so much more spring and height on this jump. Irina also had a slightly truer take-off edge than Kwan on the lutz and more difficult footwork into the flip. Kwan's entrance into the lutz was also not really shorter than Irina's, she just disguised it better.
  10. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    ^Agreed. I don't know why some would even attempt to dispute the fact that Slutskaya was the better jumper. Kwan did many things better. Is it that hard to recognize that others did SOME things better than her? I also noticed that past 2000, Kwan's jumps really got worse in height and spring.
  11. Lnt175

    Lnt175 Member

    I think Kwans jumps started to suffer after the 03 season, but she was able to hold on due to her technique. Slutskaya did have more spring and power on her flip, Kwan had nicer positions, as well as sometimes better flow out of her jumps especially from 97-01.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2013
  12. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    I agree. However, Kwan's jumps got bigger than ever during her Arutunian days even if her 3/3 capabilities seemed gone by then.
  13. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    Yeah, she really made an effort to make her jumps bigger in 2003 which was nice to see. Unfortunately, it didn't last very long.
  14. N_Halifax

    N_Halifax Well-Known Member

    Of the two, definitely Michelle. Although there were so many other skaters of the era I loved as well - Laetitia Hubert, Tanja Szewczenko, Annie Bellemare, Nicole Bobek, Vanessa Gusmeroli, Maria Butyrskaya, Olga Markova..
  15. butyrskafanatic

    butyrskafanatic Active Member

    I like Michelle but many of her fans are a little crazy. I am sure she has some good fans too, but I havent encountered many of them yet. I am not here long enough to be familiar with FSU polls but I get the impression from reading comments in this thread Kwan fans would die if she ever lost a poll. Can someone more experienced tell me does Kwan typically win all FSU polls.

    I remember joining the Michelle Kwan fan forum page once just to check it out and after an hour I never went back there. One of the nuttiest and most agressive fan bases in any sport probably.
  16. duane

    duane Well-Known Member

    Michelle has a HUGE fan base among the members of this site.
  17. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Yeah, Michelle Kwan wins MOST polls. ;)
  18. kosjenka

    kosjenka Pogorilaya’s fairy godmother

    Michelle Kwan - for sure.
    Personally I enjoyed Slutskaya more because I got to see her grow from season to season, but overall Kwan was for most of her career a complete skater.
  19. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

    Better jumps = Irina
    Better spins = Irina
    More difficult footwork = Irina
    Better carriage = Michelle (Slutskaya was known for pumping her back, which made her skating look more labored than Kwan's)
    Better choreography = Michelle
    Better spirals = Michelle
    Better musical interpretation = Michelle
    Better competitive mindset = Michelle (she won the most head-to-heads at the biggest events)
    Better speed = Irina
    Skating skills = tie
    Better transitions = Michelle (Slutskaya often telegraphed her jumps while Kwan disguised them a little better)

    Michelle was not bad at jumping, spinning, or footwork, but Irina often did attempt more difficulty in these areas (the Biellmann on both feet; the footwork sequence all on one foot) and Slutskaya had better amplitude on her jumps and attempted more difficult triple+triples (3Lutz+3loop, 3Salchow+3loop) and did the 'tano 2Axel. Michelle had much more memorable programs though, IMO, and I think she was a more complete skater.

    Overall, I preferred Michelle, but I liked Irina too. I actually liked their fellow countrywomen better though if I am being totally honest. If only Nicole Bobek and Maria Butyrskaya could have remained healthy, been mentally stronger, and delivered their full potential every time on the ice, we wouldn't even be having this Michelle/Irina debate. :p
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  20. butyrskafanatic

    butyrskafanatic Active Member

    You are right on Nicole. Sadly the judges saw Maria even in her prime as a third tier skater who could only win a bronze medal if she skated lights out and everyone else had a disaester (and even then sometimes not).
  21. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    i don't think rewriting history ever does anyone any good. Neither Kwan nor irina had "disasters" when bobeck and Maria easily beat them in the 95 and 00 SPs respectively by simply out skating them and being rewarded by judges very willing to place them 1st. Is Maria the 1999 world bronze medalist? No, I didn't think so.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
    Simone411 and (deleted member) like this.
  22. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    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?
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  23. VIETgrlTerifa

    VIETgrlTerifa Well-Known Member

    Haters gotta hate.
  24. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Guh? Please explain...
  25. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    There are people who actually think the GPF means something other than $peedy's pet cheese fest.
  26. butyrskafanatic

    butyrskafanatic Active Member

    Maria did not beat Michelle in 2001 SP. Maria skated a beautiful short program on par with her excellent winning 2000 Worlds SP and was inexplicably dumped to a lowly 5th place behind Slutskaya, Kwan, Nikidinov, and Hughes.

    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.
  27. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Still waiting on an explanation...
  28. shady82

    shady82 Active Member

    On paper, Slutskaya edges Kwan in GPFs by 4-1, but when we take into account that Kwan was robbed of the 01-02 GPF title, the record should actually be 3-2. Slutskaya's win at the GPF that year was outrageous, maybe even more so than when she beat Butyrskaya at 2000 NHK. Only four triples, sloppy presentation, and an incoherent program to Tosca. With this taken into account, Slutskaya's edge in GPFs is not that big.
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  29. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Not to mention Kwan tends to peak at Worlds anyway. Kwan beat Slute hands down on their head-to-head matches at Worlds even if disregarding 2004 Worlds in which Slute was not in peak form (but if we do that we should probably also disregard 2005 Worlds during which Kwan was severely injured).
  30. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

    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 find Yamaguchi to be really overrated artistically until her pro career. Comparing her Olympics Malaguena to Cohen's, it's like night and day in terms of utilization of music and artistry.

    Her lutz was better than ever in 2005, and her jumps had more height. Her flip had a beautiful exiting edge during that period