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Which of these 3 figure skating 'comebacks' was the most impressive?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Maofan7, Mar 20, 2013.

Which of these 3 figure skating 'comebacks' was the most impressive?

Poll closed Apr 19, 2013.
  1. Kim Yu-Na

    73 vote(s)
  2. Ekaterina Gordeeva & Sergei Grinkov

    60 vote(s)
  3. Evgeni Plushenko

    32 vote(s)
  1. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    It is normally the case that when figure skaters attempt a comeback after a long period away from the sport, that they fail. The reasons are usually that the sport has moved on in various ways, that standards have improved, and that their own skating prowess has diminished with age, time, and lack of practice during the intervening years. Injuries also cause problems

    The list of skating comeback failures is a long one: For example, at the 1994 Olympics, Brian Boitano, Katarina Witt, and Torvill and Dean all failed to repeat previous Olympic success. Elaine Zayak, at 1994 U.S. Nationals, failed to even qualify for the 1994 Olympics, and Sasha Cohen failed at the 2010 U.S. Nationals, to qualify for the 2010 Olympics. The comebacks of Evan Lysacek and Johnny Weir have yet to take off due to injury problems

    However, there are some exceptions to the general trend. Notable amongst them are:

    Kim Yu-Na: Came back to win the 2013 World title. Prior to this, her only major competition since winning the 2010 Olympics, had been the 2011 World Championships in which she finished a very close 2nd to Miki Ando

    2013 World Championships: Short Program, Free Skate

    Gordeeva & Grinkov: They retired at the end of the 1989/90 season, but made a comeback for the 1993/94 season in which they regained the Olympic title (they also won Skate Canada and the European Championships during the season)

    1994 Olympics: Short Program, Free Skate

    Evgeni Plushenko: Incredibly, at the age of almost 30, and with injury issues, he came back after 2 years away to win the 2012 European Championships (and prior to his 2009/10 comeback, he had been away for 4 years). Injury problems have since hampered his progress, although his aim remains to compete at the 2014 Olympics in his home country.

    2012 European Championships: Short Program, Free Skate

    There have been other successful comebacks from retirement, injuries, and other problems, etc. Which have impressed you and why?

    The common theme amongst those who have made a successful comeback, is that they were exceptional skaters who managed to remain competitive. So, which of these 3 successful comebacks has been the most impressive?
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  2. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

    gordeeva/grinkov @ the olympics

    but I'd also include irina slutskaya's phenomenal performances at the 2005 world championships. she had come back after being sick (her mother had been severely sick as well), yet managed to skate the best performance of her entire career to a roaring home crowd

    i can't even imagine the amount of pressure
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  3. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Yu-Na Kim. She was technically so solid in both the SP and LP.

    I agree with Irina's being very memorable. I also like Elaine Zayak's comeback in 94 and Natalia & Artur in 92.
  4. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    G/G, since they managed to win another Olympic gold. But if Yu-Na wins another gold in 2014, which looks likely, hers will be better. G/G's 1994 LP at the Olympics was flawed. I thought Plushenko's real comeback was when he came back in 2010, although I guess his 2012 one could be called a comeback.

    I don't think T/D's comeback was that bad, since they won an Olympic bronze and the European Championships that year.
  5. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Hey.. no one yet mentioned Shen and Zhao. I'm surprised. That was pretty awesome (in 2010).
  6. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Yuna basically took a year off. I wouldn't call that a comeback.
  7. TripleWallie

    TripleWallie Member

    Almost three years, actually. Her appearance at 2011 Worlds was the only one that season, and she wasn't really "there" so to speak. The NRW Trophy last December and Korean Nats in January were just warm-ups.
  8. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Of those listed, I'd say G&G. I'd also add S&Z to the list, especially considering Zhao's injury.
  9. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    still, she was training during that year for worlds , and commenced training again the beginning of this season, so thats really only a year out of training. I would only consider something a "comeback" after several seasons of training at a competitive level. Just my two cents.
  10. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    Chen Lu
  11. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    Not a Plushy uber, but his Euro comeback was very impressive. I voted for him.

    I think of Elaine Zayak's comeback, after 10 years, as a success. She made it clear that she wasn't doing it to go to the Olympics, but for herself. She also said that if she had managed to qualify for the Olympics, she would give up her spot.
  12. TripleWallie

    TripleWallie Member

    Personally, I think only competition counts when considering the length of absence from the sport. Training without competition doesn't really count because competition is more a mental test than it is physical, whereas training is all physical.
  13. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

    Yuna was never out of shape though. Plushy went from sitting on the couch eating pizza and drinking beer to medaling at the Olympics. That gets harder and harder to snap back into shape as you get older.
    Gypsy and (deleted member) like this.
  14. skatak

    skatak Well-Known Member

    Tanja Szewczenko
  15. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    One of the most impressive comebacks: Plushenko (I voted for him in this poll). He had not competed in over 3.5 years. He skated in the Olympics and narrowly missed the OGM. During this time he underwent multiple surgeries due to injuries.

    Another comeback worth mentioning is- Irina Slutskaya, after a serious heart condition she returned to competition and placed in top 10. The following year she won almost every competition she entered, and won the 2005 world championship.

    G&G made a comeback after being away from eligible skating for 6 years, and they were better than before. That was impressive.

    I don't see Yu na's comeback as a real comeback, compared to some other skaters. She had not been away from competition that long. She only missed the 2011-2012 season. This year she did compete in lesser competitions. Winning worlds was impressive, but not really a comeback.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
    Gypsy and (deleted member) like this.
  16. Glacier cat

    Glacier cat Member

    Probably, the mass votes by Yunabots strongly influence the results here, and her comeback is now "the most impressive" since it happened just a week ago.

    But I say Plushenko's comeback in 2010 (not 2012) was the most impressive because he didn't compete since early 2006 and he was already 26 or 27 at the time.
  17. Glacier cat

    Glacier cat Member

    That's all I wanted to say :rofl: Pizza, alcohol, lesser training once or twice a week - were what made him so fat :watch: :40beers: :sheep:

    Until late 2009 when he finally had succeeded at dieting, I really had never thought that he can be back in the competition.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  18. Vash01

    Vash01 Fan of Yuzuru, Medvedeva, T&M, Shibs, P&C

    Like Kim, S&Z took a year off, that's all. Not really a comeback in the true sense.
  19. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Yuna while impressive was only away for about 2 years plus she's still in the prime of her career in terms of her age.
  20. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I don't understand what is a true comeback.
    How being away from training for few month due to injury or sickness is more of a comeback than being away from competition for 1 complete year ?

    Another funny thing is to consider that it's more impressive to come back after eating pizzas and drinking alcohol. But really, what is the most impressive : comeback after eating pizzas or never succumbing to temptation ? :lol:

    My vote goes to G&G. Years off + baby + comeback better : impressive !
  21. jatale

    jatale New Member

    Gee, anyone who likes Yuna is a "bot", that is just rubbish and the ravings of jealous fans of other skaters. The degree to which fans support their favorite skater(s) reflects how much those skaters enhance the lives of their fans. IT IS A TRIBUTE to a skater the more their fans love them. So any fan labeled a "bot" should feel good about it, it is a complement to them and to the skater(s) they love to watch.
  22. FunnyBut

    FunnyBut Well-Known Member

    For me G&G was so impressive given their time away from the ice, Katia having a baby and Russia changing so much in those years. But I thought M/D had the better performance and program that year, so I really couldn't vote for G&G.

    Shen&Zhao were also super impressive, especially given his age and the fact that he was skating on a reconstructed heel :eek:. They would have easily been my pick, except that Pang&Tong outskated them IMO, at the Olympics. I was happy S&Z won, I like them so much better than P&T, but I kind of thought P&T should have won given what was put on the ice. So I couldn't pick S&Z.

    I voted for Yu Na Kim. In the few years she was out, Carolina really upped the ante on presentation, Mao came back resurgent and joyous, and several young skaters mastered the more difficult 3-3s that were Kim's calling card. And yet she came back with a perfect and seamless competition, totally outdistancing the competition by over 20 pts. If judged under 6.0, her Worlds performance would have won all 9 judges, and even those who don't particularily like her are likely to admit she was the clear winner. There wasn't really anything another skater could do to match that, I was so impressed.
  23. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    They took two years off. They won 2007 Worlds and the next time they were heard of in a competitive context was when the 2009 GP assignments were announced - IIRC, it was quite a surprise as they had not been discussing that possibility beforehand. And they were both in their 30s by then.

    I voted for Plushenko, but G/G's comeback was also impressive, amd I agree that Slutskaya should be on the list. She did not compete for at least a year, during which time she had a serious medical condition, then came back and had a great season in 2004-5. And while on the subject of comebacks from injury, Takahashi's 2009-10 season was also a good one - from a torn ACL in late 2008 to an Olympic medal and World title, that's quite an accomplishment.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  24. EricRohmer

    EricRohmer New Member

    I voted for Plushenko though I am a Yunabot. :D
    Both Plushenko's 2010 and 2012 comebacks were impressive & touching(2012 Euros)!

    After hearing Yuna's saying she is very painful physically rebuilding from ground zero (in last year October interview), I fell into more awe & respect for Plushenko who was 3.5 years away from competition and had age, surgery issue etc.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I voted Gordeeva & Grinkov. Although they dominated the World from 86-90 they came back a much better team, especialy as far as their artistic depth and amazing connection and on ice chemistry. They skated flawlessly in all events that season, and were the undisputed winners, except for the Olympics where they were a bit shaky and slightly more debated against silver medalists Miskutienok & Dmitriev who skated unbelievably well. The rest of that season they completely owned and were looked even more in a class by themselves than they ever had before.

    Kim would have been my choice if G&G werent. I didnt choose her in part as her first comeback for the 2011 Worlds was quite a bit more mediocre.

    Plushenko? Given his age and physical abilities his comeback in 2009-2010 and his latest one are respectable enough, but not tops on this list. Given his age and physical condition they are as good as could be hoped probably though.

    Shen & Zhou would have not been my choice even had they been on the list. They really had no competition with Savchenko & Szolkowy in a major slump that season, and won the Olympics with a subpar performance that any of the top 4 would have beaten with a clean skate. As it was Pang & Tong should have won the Olympic Gold as their SP score at Worlds would have done it, and they scored 4 points higher in their SP at Worlds (where scoring was generally lower for all the other pairs for comparable skates) for exactly the same skate minus the 1 minute time deduction.
  26. lowtherlore

    lowtherlore New Member


    For second, it’s a tough choice between Plushy and Yu-Na (I’m a Plushy fan and a Yu-Na bot). I would give a nod to Yu-Na since she came back in a relatively more dominant form.
  27. orientalplane

    orientalplane Mad for mangelwurzels

    Surely not? A Yu-Na bot? I must say I find that very hard to believe. I think you're just trying to pull our collective leg.
    RunnersHigh and (deleted member) like this.
  28. lowtherlore

    lowtherlore New Member


    ??:rolleyes: Sure, I’ve been a certified Yu-Na bot for almost a decade! It has little to do with my choice re this poll.

    I reiterate: 1 G/G; 2 Yu-Na; 3 Plushy.
  29. t.mann

    t.mann Member

  30. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    You left out the most obvious answer, Torvill & Dean. These folks had not competed in a decade and came back to win an Olympic medal (and placing 1st in the OD). Seriously awesome.

    Of the choices you gave, I would have to say Gordeeva & Grinkov. They had not competed since 1990 Worlds, she had had a baby, and they still came back for the 93-94 season to win another OGM. Plushenko gets consideration because he had taken a similar amount of time off plus had some surgeries, and still won an Olympic medal. IMO, Kim should be nowhere in this question because she only missed one Worlds. It can't really be much of a "comeback" if you've hardly been gone. I think I'd list Witt's 94 comeback (final flight at the Olympics after 5 seasons away) as more impressive than that.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013