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Rate the 1 time World Champions

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by judgejudy27, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    How would you rate the 1 time World or Olympic Champions from best to least great. Here would be my order:


    1. Midori Ito- a travesty she only won 1 World or Olympic Gold. A victim of figures, bad luck, injuries, bad timing.

    2. Denise Biellmann- would have been the dominant skater for a long time had it not been for figures and her early retirement. Would have been the 1980 Olympic Champion in 1980 at only 17 without figures.

    3. Lu Chen- one of the most stunning artistic skaters in recent memory and a very strong jumper too. Was robbed of winning more than 1 major title by judging mostly.

    4. Debi Thomas- was a very strong force and part of a famous rivalry to Witt. Very strong all around skater with excellent figures, very strong jumps and elements for the time, and very good line and basic skating.

    5. Yuka Sato- just since she was such an outstanding pro skater, one of the best of all time. Not as great an amateur skater so hard to rank her accurately.

    6. Rosalynn Sumners- went into the Olympics the year after winning as favorite and narrowly missed winning. 3 time U.S Champion.

    7. Karen Magnussen- Olympic silver and World silver the year before winning.

    8. Maria Butyrskaya- was near the top a long time but not a huge threat to the big guns of her era. And didnt really do anything that made a huge impact on the sport. Won in weak transition era with so top skaters in field other than Butyrskaya and Kwan. Had chance to defend next year but blew it and never came close thereafter nor before. Never won Olympic medal but narrowly missed in 1998. I ranked her over Elaine only since she had a better shot of winning a 2nd World title in 2000 then Elaine ever really had, and both had forgettable pro careers.

    9. Elaine Zayak- was a trailblazer in her early years. Her overall competitive record isnt as strong as some others and unfortunately her pro career was a dissapointment. I think she was very underrated at times by judges in 83 and 84. On the other hand I am also not as much on her bandwagon as some others on this forum. I dont think she was the best all around skater of the 80s or anything as some seem to think.

    10. Christine Errath- since others seem to think highly of her skating and I havent seen that many of her performances I will give her the benefit of doubt and move her up.

    11. Petra Burka- dont know much about her. First women to do a triple jump.

    12. Sarah Hughes- was consistent for several years, flaws aside, and did win the Olympics as her lone major title.

    13. Jill Trenary- not sure where to rank her. An elegant and stylish skating with strong figures and capable but inconsistent jumps. She didnt exactly give an extremely inspired competition to win her only major title like Sarah Hughes though so I decided to slot her below. She won 3 U.S titles but she didnt face Kwan at Nationals like Hughes did.

    14. Miki Ando- only one other World bronze and an GP silver to show from remainder of her career so far. I openly admit I do not like her skating and find her very overrated.

    15. Dianne DeLeeuw- a gangly stork on the ice with no grace and small awkward jumps. She was good in figures and a good competitor.

    16. Kimmie Meissner- I hate to say it especialy as I like Kimmie but isnt it obvious by now it was one of the flukes in history probably.


    1. Brian Orser- Just incredible he won only 1 major title. An injustice of sorts looking at his overall career even if the actual result in each case was probably right via the rules and performances.

    2. Robin Cousins- would have been a dominant skater and won so many major titles without figures. Nobody could touch him in free skating in his era.

    3. Daisuke Takahashi- such a talented skater. I guess he could win again but seeing his performances this year I doubt it.

    4. Ilia Kulik- also an incredible skater even with the Olympic Gold as his only major victory.

    5. Brian Joubert- very consistent skater with good longevity.

    6. Alexander Fadeev- had a chance to win multiple World titles for sure. Only had to stay on his feet and turn in something semi respectable to have defended his title in 1986. His career fizzled out as it went and every hint of a resurgence was quickly snuffed out.

    7. Charlie Tickner- very nice skater. Was one of several guys fighting for big titles in a very competitive era. Had tough competition with Cousins the Worlds dominant free skater, Hoffman the figures expert and great jumper, and Kovalev the figures expert.

    8. Jeff Buttle- wonderful skater who I loved to watch. A fine career with some other nice achievements. Inconsistent jumper who did one of his only ever clean competitions to win Worlds, and never a dominant skater or close to it.

    9. Wolfgang Schwarz- 2nd almost his whole career but won the big one at the Olympics. Barely won that though. Dont know much about him.

    10. Alexei Urmanov- an accidental Olympic winner who never really followed up his big victory. Did win both Europeans and the Grand Prix final in his career. Might have won the 97 Worlds had he been able to skate the long program.

    11. Todd Eldredge- he wasnt my cup of tea but a very good career. Could only win in his time when the big guns fell apart.

    12. Sergei Volkov- yuck, and yes I have seen him skate unfortunately.


    1. Underhill & Martini- their pro careers solidified their greatness as a pairs team. As did their performances at the 83 and 84 Worlds as amateurs.

    2. Brasseur & Eisler- honestly I find their are a lack of good options in the pairs discipline unlike the others.

    3. Shishkova & Naumov- very underrated and unlucky team.

    4. Babiloni & Gardner- beautiful and very pleasant pair but fortunate to win in a year the dominant team took a pregnancy leave.

    5. Baess & Theirbach- one of the dominant teams of the 81-84 quad, surprisingly missed the medals at the 84 Olympics. Very athletic team for the time.

    6. Kazahkova & Dmitriev- they never really excited me the way M&D did together. And they were inconsistent most of their relatively short amateur careers. Still definitely deserved the Oly Gold in 98.

    7. Petrova & Tikhonov- great longevity and consistency. 8 straight top 4 finishes at Worlds.

    8. Kovarikova & Novotny- very elegant and artistic team but very inconsistent.

    9. Eltsova & Bushkov- zzzzzz

    10. Marina Cherkasova & Sergei Shakhrai- won Olympic silver after Babilonia & Gardner withdrew, then World gold after Rodnina & Zaitsev also took a pass on a final Worlds. Had a quad twist at one point I believe. A ragdoll team who dissapeared quickly once she grew.

    11. Woetzel & Steuer- cant believe they won a Worlds. Were lucky to peak in such a weak and open couple years for pairs.

    12. Vorobieva & Lisovski- who!?!? Looking at their competitive record their win appears to be just a stopgap in a vacant year.


    1. Usova & Zhulin- unlucky to lose out on close decisions at 91 Worlds and 94 Olympics. Competed in tough era with Klimova & Ponomarenko, Duchensays, and Gritschuk & Platov.

    2. Recogzy & Sallay- very good team, many thought should have won the 1980 Olympics right before their only World title.

    3. Duchensays- they were certainly memorable if not technically the best.

    4. Bourne & Kraatz- they never appealed much to me but they have 6 World medals.

    5. Delobel & Schoenfelder- strong technical and polished team with some bad luck in their careers. Still World title is only World or Olympic medal. Have Grand Prix final and European titles though.

    6. Fusar Poli & Margalio- she was a very good dancer.

    7. Lobacheva & Averbuhk- never liked them. They had good ODs though, rarely if ever a memorable FD.

    8. Domnina & Shabalin- they were already past their prime due to injuries when they won their World title.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  2. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Robin never won Worlds. I would have Zayak right up there on the womens list, probably tied for 2nd with Biellmann. She was hugely underrated and still suffers from the myth that she could only do triple toe. And Christine Errath has no business being so low down your list. She was a wonderful skater and the first lady to regularly do a triple toe in her programs, often combining it with a double toe which was practically unheard of back then. She really did have great charisma and was just about the only GDR ladies skater to make it without being coached by Jutta Muller.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  3. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I meant skaters to win only 1 World or Olympic title which is why I included Kulik and Hughes in my lists. You are free to change the title heading for me if you can please.

    I have watched Errath on tapes and I hated her skating. Sorry just my opinion. I didnt see any of the charisma or appeal of Seyfert, Morgenstern, or Witt, in any of her skates that I saw. And I dont see how she was any better than say Diane DeLeeuw who beat her atleast half the time both overall and in free skating. In fact the two look like the exact same kind and caliber of skater to me, almost interchangeable. I am amazed Hamill didnt win every major title in the mid 70s. Maybe I never saw her skate on her best day, I dont know.
  4. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    To each their own of course. :) DeLeeuw got seriously lucky in '75 when both Errath and Hamill botched their SP's. I've never enjoyed DeLeeuw's skating. Errath had more speed, attack and another one of those amazingly powerful double axels that nearly all the 70's GDR girls seemed to have. I thought she was wonderful. JMO ;)
  5. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Well you were around then unlike me so I am pretty sure your perspective on those skaters is more accurate than mine. I have seen Errath performances mostly from 75 and 76. Wasnt her free skating peak from 72-74 more anyway?

    I dont enjoy DeLeeuw at all either so hopefully Errath at her best was atleast better than her. DeLeeuw was like a gangly stork on the ice. I put her over Errath only because she was the one who seemed to be rated as Fratianne's bigger rival by 76 and won the silver in Innsbruck.
  6. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Joubert only has 1 world title because of his inconsistencies. He usually messed up in the SP and then underestimate what he needed to do in the LP to win. It's too late now for him to win another one and will most likely be off the podium for 2011.

    Yuka was lucky to win her title in a weakened field. She had wonderful qualities as a skater, but her lutz and flip were often questionable.

    Dorothy Hamill should be on the list somewhere. Didn't she usually win the LP over Dianne and Christina ?
  7. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    You mean Dorothy. Fratianne wasn't a threat to anyone's world title in 76.
  8. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I think the original poster wanted to rate the one hit skaters : one World title (and no Olympic) or one Olympic title (and no World). Dorothy has both. ;)
  9. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    FWIW, your list is missing Alexei Urmanov.
  10. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    I'd have Kulik higher on the list. I think his OGM performance was untouchable at the time similar ,to say ,Yu-Na Kim's. Much as I like Takahashi, I don't think he was ever in such a position.

    Mostly I agree with your other rankings, insofar as I remember the skaters and performances.
  11. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch New Member

    Agree completely with Floskate with everything that was said about Christine Errrath. She was a wonderful free skater. Loved her. In my eyes her only problem was her 3-toe was not consistent. Amazing to think she was never coached by Jutta Mueller. I think she should be much higher on your list.
  12. Seerek

    Seerek Well-Known Member

    I would put Jeff Buttle and Charles Tickner somewhere in the middle of the men's list listed.

    Debi Thomas probably would go above Maria Butyrskaya, Jill Trenary probably only above Ando and Meissner.

    Cherkasova and Shakrai should be above quite a few pairs teams on that list.
  13. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Petra Burka -

    First woman to do a triple. She was '65 World Champ and bronze-medalist at '66 Worlds, right? She had a lot going for her. Any one know why she didn't just stick with it thru '68 and the Grenoble Olympics?
  14. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    On the presentation/artistic side that might've been a good thing; Otherwise, we might have seen her skate to a medley of Saturday Day Night Fever, You Light Up My Life, and The Muppet, :lol:.
  15. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    She supposedly did the triple salchow at Nationals in 1962 but I've never seen it. I wonder if that still exists in an archive somewhere? She was sturdy and after winning Worlds went on a crash diet and so the story goes, her jumps went along with the weight. Who knows why she didn't stick it out? She was surpassed by Fleming and Seyfert in one year and back then, once you slid down the rankings it was very difficult to get back up again.

    How could I have forgotten about Charlie Tickner? Wonderful skater and definitely would be near the top of my list.
  16. escaflowne9282

    escaflowne9282 Reformed Manspreader

    I am definitely not getting the love of Christine Errath's skating from the 1970s. Her choreography was heinous and I find her skating to be quite brutal and beastly :slinkaway:

    I guess I'm just not much of a fan of ladies skating of the 1970s . Despite the better basic skating ,I tend to find so many of the female skaters of this era to be very tedious and lacking in nuance and refinement in their overall body movement. Even the much beloved Dorothy Hammill's skating looks a bit... rushed to me.

    John Curry OTOH I could watch all day.
  17. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Roz Sumners should be way down on the list...somewhere close to Kimmie. She got very, very lucky in Helsinki '83 in that Katarina made fluke mistakes and Zayak, the reigning champ, got injured in the course of the competition. Roz was also the USFSA's "little Princess Perfect" at the time; they lobbied strong and hard for her to be marked over "chubby, working class Elaine" even before Elaine pulled out of the competition. Not that I did not enjoy Roz's energy and personality but I did not consider her a true prodigy like Elaine. (One of these days, either Elaine or her coach should write an all-tell book!)

    Off Topic: Luckily, Code of Points has pretty much put an end to "Little Princess Perfects" being annointed by federations or other power brokers (like networks), with backroom wheeling and dealing of one skater above another in the same country. Now you either "do it" on the ice, in that one program, or you do not. "Funny play" with PCS can only get a "darling" so far.
  18. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Witt was never good in figures before 1984 and as you yourself are basically admiting Zayak was not ever winning the 83 Worlds. So I see Sumners in no way lucky to have won that year. Witt's Olympic win the following year was luckier than Sumners's World title.
  19. olympic

    olympic Well-Known Member

    Believe me, I'm no fan of Roz but I respect the great quality of her basic skating. [She reminds me of Lepisto in that way - nice quality to all technical elements, musical, but somewhat icy and removed during actual performances and could be quite wobbly on/popping jumps due to nerves - JMHO. Don't flame me!].

    But Roz was great in the figures whereas Kat prior to '84 was pretty mediocre in that segment and I admired Kat's athleticism but her 2d mark also was not where it would be in later yeasrs, so I don't think Roz was unlucky to win '83.

    There just wasn't any really eye-popping competition for ladies that season- 1) World champ Zayak was out injured, 2) as stated Witt was mediocre in figures and had not realized her potential, 3) Chin was a newcomer and still developing, 4) Ivanova was banned from competing internationally in these years by the Soviet Fed, 5) Biellmann, 6) Cottrill, and 7) Kristofics-Binder had already retired or were just gone.

    That left very few people to contend, so I'm just curious to know why you think Roz was lucky? Again, not a fan and I also like you preferred Zayak.
  20. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    1981-1984 was the craziest quadrennial for womens skating ever. Even going into Sarajevo I dont think people knew what to expect. Sumners was probably favorite but was clearly vurnerable. Witt was doing well that season but hadnt won a major title yet. Zayak seemed to be on the way down but shocked most people with some of her best performances ever in Sarajevo, but unfortunately clearly was out of favor by that point it turned out. Leistner, Voderezova, Ivanova returning to competition but not really being proven yet even in her first go around, Chin, Kondrashova, Rueben.

    Many of the top skaters in the middle of the quad just retiring or dissapearing altogether- Biellmann, Binder, Cottrill, DeVries, Vegelius, and others making returns from long absences like Voderezova and Ivanova.
  21. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Katarina and Claudia Leistner were very much the international "It Girls" that season. (Alas, Leistner went downhill, for a while, after 83 Worlds.)

    Witt was the Euro Champ. So her time had definitely come. The win in Sarajevo was not at all a surprise to those who live in those times and attended major events, as I did. Roz was a pretty and pleasant fluke.

    The "surprise" was that Witt went past 1984. Nobody in the 1982-84 period would have predicted the longevity of Witt in amateur competition.
  22. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Maybe not in North America. Witt was IT everywhere else, at least since summer 82. I lived it. (And I'm the "other" F.Muller...not the real one. :cool:)
  23. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

  24. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Gaby won two Worlds in 1969 & 1970 :)

    Re: Witt in '82 and '83. She was the combined free skating champion at both those Worlds. She should have won overall in '82, it was there for the taking despite Zayak's great performance but she made mistakes. 1983 it was her figures that did her in, but I think it's very clear that she was regarded as the biggest potential OGM for Sarejevo by the international judges, especially after Biellmann's shock early retirement.
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Poor Leistner looked like the big up and coming star along with Witt in 1982 and 1983 but never really was a contender ever again after her weak Olympic showing in 1984. Well not until her last season in 1989 when nearly everyone had retired. From 1985-1988 she just kept getting passed by everyone and most years was 4th at Europeans, including even 1987 where she skated so well. In 1982 and 1983 she looked fresh and exciting with her ability to do so many triples, but she became stale and boring as the years went by. Even her 1989 World silver performance was an eyesore.
  26. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Sharp as a tac, you are.

    I thought I got to it before anybody saw :p
  27. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Leistner's atistry, program and music cut in 83 was crap. I don't know how she could've been seen as the "It" girl.

    Witt's win in 84 was somewhat of a surprised, although she was definitely considered a major threat to Roz for the Olympic title. Roz convincingly won the World title in 83. If you take away the triples, Roz was the better free skater than Witt. She could've, would've ..yadayadayada...won in 84. Who knew why she decided to double the last two triples and single the final axel in her LP. The mistake in the SP was stupid.
  28. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    From what I've watched, Katarina's win was not such a surprise in 1984. She was a two-time Euro champ. Silver medalist at Worlds in 1982, first lady to land a 3Flip, and she landed 3Loop in 1983. Her jumps were beautiful, so was her skating. From 1983, she developped her grace and interpretation. ;)
  29. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    I always found Witt kind of awkward (look at her crossovers, look at her spin positions) and her 'artistry' was basically a reference first to her natural good looks and later to her cultivated showmanship.

    And most of her winning performances just aren't that great or memorable (except for her 87 worlds lp which was great in every sense of the word). But she had the toughest mental games of any skater ever.

    I think of Hughes as about as big a fluke as Meissner. I'm not disputing her win but her SLC victory really did come right out of and lead right back to nowhere. A very bizarre little chapter in ladies skating history.
  30. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

    ^ But the thing is Hughes was at least proven to be a medal contender. Meissner just barely emerged into the senior ranks. And under 6.0, I think any free skate like what Hughes skated in SLC was going to win the gold medal.