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Which skaters are truly "legendary"...

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Fandango, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Fandango

    Fandango New Member

    ...among skating fans worldwide, whatever that means (to you)??? ;) ;)

    Personally I'd say: Sonja Henie, Dick Button, The Protopov's, Irina Rodnina & her partners, Toller Cranston, John Curry, Torvill & Dean, Katarina Witt, Kurt Browning, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Alexei Yagudin, Evgeny Plushenko, Shen & Zhao, Yuna Kim.

    ??? :shuffle:
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    Janet Lynn and Midori Ito
  3. miki88

    miki88 Active Member

    Michelle Kwan
    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  4. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    As much as I'm not a fan, I'd add Elvis Stojko to the list.
  5. Robeye

    Robeye Curiously curious

    :lol: I just think it would be a kind of letdown to have achieved legendary status in such, shall we say, anonymous fashion, like a human appendix. And to add insult to injury, not merely as Rodnina's partner, but "one of" her partners. Makes her sound like Catherine The Great, using and then discarding them with gusto ;).
  6. bardtoob

    bardtoob Former Choreographer for Anna Maria Tragikova

    The inventor of the Layback spin.
    l'etoile and (deleted member) like this.
  7. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

    I like most of your list, but I would take Yagudin off and put Kwan on. Whether you like her skating or not, her longevity, consistency and elegance, and achievement record definitely constitute legendary status. While Yagudin was an amazing skater, his accomplishments are not legendary nor does any of his technique stick out in my mind, especially when viewed against skaters like Hamilton, Boitano, Orser and Petrenko, and his record pales in comparison to Plush's. I would also add in Dick Button, Janet Lynn, Midori Ito, possibly Peggy Fleming for bringing a new look to the sport. I think Yu Na is on the edge of legendary, would definitely join the list if she wins another Olympic medal (of any color).
  8. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    It is hard to gage. Each region of the world has their own definition of great.

    I would consider Anissina & Peizerat, Orser, Boitano, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Grishuk & Platov, Navka & Kostamarov, The Duchesnay's, Artur Dmitriev with Natalia & Oksana all being legends but IMHO I also think Elvis Stojko, Virtue & Moir and Davis & White are/ will be legends in the sport.

    I don't know how Yagudin can't be on the list when he medalled in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 World's and in 2002 and achieved what Michelle Kwan did not with an Olympic gold.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  9. Vash01

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

    Mishkutenok- Dmtriev as a legendary pair (despite their short career), and Dmitriev as a pairs skater for winning OGM with two different partners.

    As much as I hate his commentating, Scott Hamilton needs to be included- not just because he won 4 world titles in a row and an OGM to cap it, but because he offered a future to figure skaters after retirement, by starting Stars on Ice.

    I would also include John Curry and Robin Cousins - the latter for what he brought to professional skating (artistry/creativity)

    Tamara Moskvina - known more as a legendary coach, rather than skater, but she won the Russian nationals in singles and pairs, created the Biellman spin before Denise Biellman, won world medals (did she win an Olympic medal? Not sure, but I will look it up).

    I would also add Klimova-Ponomarenko and (with some reluctance) Grishchuk & Platov.

    Michelle Kwan, Midori Ito and Janet Lynn have already been mentioned by other posters.

    I wouldn't include any of the current skaters. Let us see how far they will go first.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  10. Jammers

    Jammers Well-Known Member

    Yagudin not legendary? How does his record pale in comparison to Plushenko? Yagudin basically had to retire at 22 so he didn't even hit his peak as a skater and already had 4 World titles and a dominating win at the Olympics. Plushenko's record might not look as good if Yags had kept skating during the next Olympic cycle.
  11. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

    Kwan and Slute -- both of them, for longevity, as well as a great rivalry (IMO)
  12. mia joy

    mia joy Well-Known Member

    Yagudin is the first one that comes to my mind when I think legendary. I don't care if he retired extremely early or won less medals than Plushenko. The guy is, and will forever remain, a skating legend.

    I don't know what Shen/Zhao are doing there, though. I never got all the hype around them. They used to bore me to death 90% of their career.

    Just put Michelle and Irina on the list, both of them deserve it.
  13. Vash01

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

    FSU adores Shen & Zhao. I was never their fan but I would consider them legends because they are the reason (besides Bin Yao) China became OGM contenders in pairs. They went to 4 Olympics, and won medals (including one gold) in three of them- that alone is a great accomplishment. Technically they pushed the envelope with harder jumps, bigger twists and bigger throws. It changed pairs skating. Unfortunately pairs skating lost some of its finer points as a result, but their contributions have been big.
  14. mia joy

    mia joy Well-Known Member

    But this thread isn't about who won more medals or who contributed more to skating, but who is a legend. Yags would be a legend for me, even if he hadn't won an OGM. He was just this kind of a skater, unforgettable, one of a kind. Same goes for Michelle Kwan and some others. Shen/Zhao's accomplishments are amazing, but to me they just didn't have the IT factor. B/S had much more of it, actually, and I don't see them on the list.
  15. Vash01

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

    B&S should be on the list, but I think they will never get credit for their greatness. The cloud of SLC will always follow them in North America at least. It saddens me because I am one of their biggest fans.

    'Legendary' is really in the eye of the beholder. The posts here are indicative of that, and that's the way it should be because you cannot define the word precisely.

    ETA: I am adding Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze to the list, for all the great qualities they had as pairs skaters- speed, power, musicality, unison, creativity.

    I am also adding Dorothy Hamill to the list. Even in her 40's she was still skating with COI. I actually liked her more mature look as a pro, than when she won the OGM. She did everything so well- in perfect position. Her moves were simple but beautifully done.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  16. liv

    liv Well-Known Member

    I would agree with the original list but exclude Yuna Kim and add Midori Ito...Shen/Zhao are iffy for me, but close since while it took them two decades to achieve what they did, they still achieved it.... Michelle might be included on that list too, despite no Olympic gold. Klimova/Ponomarenko and Grishuk/Platov could be on there too...and Artur Dmitriev with Natalia.

    For me legendary means people who are so unique that they cannot be duplicated and are forever different from anyone else. They may have burst onto the scene for a short time or were around for longer. Other skaters might be giants of the sport with huge accomplishments but they aren't necessarily legendary.

    I think that most on that top list definitely are the core group with others to be debated.
  17. mia joy

    mia joy Well-Known Member

    That's a great definition, I totally agree! I would also say they are the ones who stay in people's memory and hearts the longest.

    I also believe in "legendary" rivalries. Plushenko vs Yagudin, Michelle vs Irina, Mao vs. Yuna, D/W vs V/M - people will remember those battles for glory, even if they forget the programs invloved.
    (forgive me for not giving older examples, I've been following skating since around 2000)
  18. watchthis!!

    watchthis!! Well-Known Member

    Yes, the legendary Raphael Layback. He was amazing!!

    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  19. OliviaPug

    OliviaPug Well-Known Member

    Everyone obviously has different definitions of "legendary."

    I believe a big part of what makes Michelle Kwan legendary is the very fact that she did not win an Olympic gold. Her struggles in the face of her own greatness, as well as her grace despite her struggles, are some of the many things that make her story legendary.

    I would put Janet Lynn into this category as well. It wasn't what she won, but what she did not win and how she got up from falling and how she smiled no matter what.

    kwanette and (deleted member) like this.
  20. Zokko!

    Zokko! Comansnala?

    Agree, plus Mishkotionok/Dmitriev, Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze, Irina Slutskaya and The Duchesnays ...
  21. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    My Top Ten:

    Marina Anissina
    Ludmila Belusova
    Joffrey Bourdon*
    Barbara Fusar-Poli
    Anastasia Gimazetdinova
    Laetitia Hubert
    Olga Markova
    John Misha Petkevich
    Oleg Protopov
    Irina Rodnina

    Bourdon, of course, is a legend in much the same way that the Yeti or Sasquatch is a legend. ;)
  22. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

    What about Nikolai Hedrizkov?
  23. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    Michelle Kwan, Janet Lynn, Dick Button, Sonja Henie, Katarina Witt, the Protopopovs, Grinkov and Gordeeva, Shen and Zhao, Alexi Yagudin, Brian Boitano, Kurt Browning, John Curry, Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Irina Slutskaya, Midori Ito.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  24. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    Sonja Henie, Dick Button, The Protopopovs, Peggy Fleming, Janet Lynn, Toller Cranston, John Curry, Dorothy Hamill, Scott Hamilton, Torvill and Dean, Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Kurt Browning, Klimova & Ponomarenko, Midori Ito, Michelle Kwan, Evgeni Plushenko. If they win Gold in Sochi, add Yu-Na Kim and Patrick Chan.
  25. Susan M

    Susan M Well-Known Member

    I'd take Yagudin off and leave Kwan off. I think Kwan is/will be legendary for US skating fans, but my impression has been fans in other parts of the world were much less wowed by her, and the list creator specified legendary world wide.

    I'd also make it Rodnina & Zietsev, since I found her first partner totally un-memorable. I would, in fact, leave off pretty much everyone that folks have suggested adding so far except for Janet Lynn and Dorothy Hamill. The only other pair I think have a case for adding would be Mishkutenok/Dmitriev partly because they defined a whole new style of pairs.

    I think a case can also be made for Scott Hamilton, as he won pretty much everything he entered for 4 seasons, brought a new kind of interpretive ability to ice skating, and really developed pro style skating.

    I think Kristi Y and Kurt Browning will also be remembered for decades in the US, I don't know if their legend will hold up world wide.

    For ice dance, Torvill & Dean are legendary, Klimova/Ponomarenko are a sentimental add for me, having spent 8 years rooting for them, but IMO no other dance team comes close to those two.

    I take legendary as meaning a skater people will still talk about in 30 or 50 years, the way fans today are still aware of Button and Henie and Curry. I think it is way too early to know which skaters of the past decade will hold up as legendary.

    Do we need to add Gillis Grafstrom, who defined figure skating in the early part of the 20th century, when it really was about skating figures? I guess, in her own way, Trixi Schuba is pretty legendary too.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    I'd go with both unique, irreplaceable, and changed the sport. From that perspective:

    I'd add Cecelia Colledge, who really changed ladies skating from the look of Sonja Henie's skating to the more balletic look of today.

    And perhaps Reginald J. Wilkie and his partner Dapne Wallis who created the Argentine Tango, Quickstep, and Paso Doble CD's, and Courtney Jones who won Worlds in ice dance four times, two with June Markham, and two with Doreen Denny. With partner Peri Horne, he created the Starlight Waltz & Silver Samba CD's.

    And no one in ice dance, should be any more legendary that Lyudmila Pakhomova.
  27. NadineWhite

    NadineWhite Well-Known Member

    It really is subjective by country, but I think one thing we can all agree on (regardless of country) is that titles and records, et al, count, they matter. Also who invented such & such. I'm thinking about all my figure skating books and the history of such, and I always see Sonja Henie's name (of course), as well as Gillis Grafstrom (record holder of most Olympic Medals won), Ulrich Salchow (1st mens Olympic Champion and inventor of the salchow jump), Madge Syers (1st womens Olympic Champion), Karl Schafer/Dick Button/Katarina Witt/Protopopovos/G&G/et al (2-time Olympic Champions), Irina Rodnina & her partners, etc., things like that. Oops, and also Jackson Haines, the inventor of modern day figure skating. And of course the 21st century's Evgeni Plushenko, second only to the 20th century's Gillis Grafstrom in number of Olympic Medals won, as a single, not a pair. To stand the test of time/history, one must have done more than won an Olympic Gold Medal to be added to the greats, the giants of figure skating. jmho from reading my figure skating books. :)

    Great topic btw.

    ETA: the difference between being an asterik in the figure skating history books (e.g. first to do such & such or youngest man/woman) versus being a legend and having a whole page or video dedicated to one is as I said earlier, one must have done more than won an Olympic Gold Medal. There must be more to one's story. However, I will concede that in order to be even considered as such one must have first won an Olympic Gold Medal first & foremost, that's a prerequisite.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013
  28. ciocio

    ciocio Active Member

    I think we have to judge based on actual records, not what if... What if Yagudin or Plushenko would have skated in the '30s? Well, we don't know what would have happened. :confused:
  29. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    How ridiculous!
  30. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

    To me, legendary would mean someone who by their skating accomplishment changed the face of figure skating in their time to affect this current status of skating - that would take us back to the early, early parts of skating. (these are just the ones off the top of my head, I am sure I could think of many, many more)

    Axel Paulson: Axel jump as well as most of his career
    Alois Lutz: Lutz jump
    Sonia Heine: enough said
    Donald Jackson: first triple flip in competition, although some dispute that
    Dick Button: for a variety of things, Double Axel, commentator
    Katerina Witt: triple jump in competition, costume rule, etc
    Midori Ito: first triple axel in competition by a woman
    Kurt Browning: first ratified quad in competition
    Janet Lynn: changed figure skating through the eventual demise of figures in skating
    Zajic: jump rules
    B/S - S/P: scandal changed skating from 6.0 to the CoP
    Shen/Zhou: changing the face of pairs skating in China
    Brian Botanio: the 'tano Lutz (but I am not sure about that one - if someone was doing that before Brian made it mainstream)
    Torvil and Dean: Bolero, unanimous 6.0s for presentation
    Tim Goebel: first man to do multiple quads in one program
    Michelle Kwan: mostly because of her longevity, but also because of her numerous titles in her career
    Tara Lipinski: Is she one of the reasons behind the age restrictions at Olympics?
    Lucinda Ruh: fastest spins I ever saw

    However, some of you define legendary in a different manner. Most of what I posted are North American in nature, I am sure that other posters from around the world could add their "firsts" or changes in figure skating
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2013