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Who was the greatest MEN's singles figure skater never to become Olympic champion?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Zokko!, Sep 16, 2011.

Who was the greatest MEN's singles figure skater never to become Olympic champion?

  1. Kurt Browning

  2. Jeff Buttle

  3. Toller Cranston

  4. Brian Orser

  5. Elvis Stojko

  6. Brian Joubert

  7. Stephane Lambiel

  8. Todd Eldredge

  9. Daisuke Takahashi

  10. Other, please name!

  1. Finnice

    Finnice Well-Known Member

    I voted Lambiel, but also all the Canadian gentlemen had a style of their own, very different from each other.

    But why is Joubert on this poll? He is still continuing.:p And Takahashi, too.
  2. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    Another special accomplishment of Browning's is being the only skater to win gold (wc or oly) with and without figures, two of each in fact.

    Only Ito (gold 89 and silver in Albertville) and Petrenko (silver in 89 and 90 and gold in 92 wc and oly) come close to having that.

    He was maybe on the small side to be a pairs skater but he completely excelled at everything else. If they had solo dance back then I'm sure he could win that too.
  3. Vash01

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

    Good point. Petrenko also won a bronze in 1988 (Oly & worlds), meaning with figures.
  4. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Had The Grand Prima Donna Of Whine, Supreme Diva Emanuel Sandhu, EVER, EVER lived up to his untapped potential, it would have been him.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  5. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I didn't get to see Sandhu skate that much, but I remember Plushenko being asked in 2006 who his greatest competition for the OGM was, and he said if he ever got it together and skate cleanly Sandhu would hard to beat.
  6. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

    Browning sure did have it all (and he's still skating, luckily for us).

    Here's his wonderful Singing in the Rain number, from his "You Must Remember This" TV special.

    I remember an interview with Toller Cranston, in which he talked a bit about Kurt. Toller said that normally he never watched Kurt's TV specials, since he'd never been hired to skate in them (love Toller...he didn't mind saying things like that :lol:), but one day Toller was flipping channels, and saw Kurt's "Singing in the Rain" number and thought...OK, the rest of us (male skaters) should just give up now, Kurt has done it all. :D

    Eventually they became good friends, and Kurt and Sonia visited Toller in Mexico at one point.
  7. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Doesn't change your overall point, but for the record Urmanov did land and attempt quads a little more than that.

    1991 Europeans (I believe -- can't find verification on youtube)

    1991 Worlds (hard to tell it's a quad in the program but see slow motion afterward)

    1991 Lalique

    1992 Europeans (according to commentary in next clip)

    1992 Olympics (hand down and probably <)

    1997 Champions Series Final (historic occasion of first time three skaters landed ratified quads in the same competition, one being Stojko's first clean 4T+3T)

    I could also name at least two or three other occasions when he tried and fell.
  8. Maofan7

    Maofan7 Member

    I voted for Browning
  9. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

    I feel this way about the late Christopher Bowman. I remember years ago Kurt Browning made some complimentary remarks about Bowman-something along the lines of if Christopher had ever gotten his sh!t together he might've given Browning something to worry about.

    Write in vote for Bowman. RIP.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  10. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

    Talented, yes. Great, no. Johnny had some of the best jump landings I've ever seen and was a beautiful skater with an organic ability. But he never really developed.

    And I don't think he was very influential - he has not left any mark on the sport that I can see.

    Hard to say whether Abt would have become great. I do agree that he was very good looking, but I didn't find him particularly sexy.

    There was a video of him drunk and bleeding after an altercation on a plane posted on You Tube some time ago. It was really sad and I had to wonder whether booze got the better of him, his good looks, and his talent.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  11. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    Toss up between Lambiel and Cranston. Browning is undeniably great, but the 4 world titles make up for the missing Olympic gold.
  12. Fandango

    Fandango New Member

    Unfortunately Alexander Abt's story is not only about good looks, tremendous talent, injuries, bad luck, wrong time-wrong place. It is also about lack of discipline, diligence, ambition, too much :smokin: and :rockstar: . I liked him as well, but sometimes female posters here tend to glorify him a bit.
  13. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    This one is amazing.
    But even his tribute to Kristi to "Moon River" was very special, although it was a little exhibition, not worked that much !
  14. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    I remember reading in one of the skating mags that Mishin studied Sandhu's skating skills and tried to get Plushy to incorporate similar elements in his skating.

    Bowman was a very talented guy, with an outgoing personality to match. He also had a background in TV and was very photogenic and camera-friendly. All of those qualities backed up with an OGM, only good things could have happened...

    He was influential - we no longer expect stock answers from skaters anymore :p. I'll give him that much.

    But I haven't heard of other skaters saying that they want to skate like him.
  15. mtnskater

    mtnskater Well-Known Member

    Not even close for me....Kurt Browning!!! One of the all-time best (and no I'm not Canadian.)
  16. Zemgirl

    Zemgirl Well-Known Member

    I don't know if he's ever said so explicitly, but it seems clear that Yuzuru Hanyu has been inspired (at least to some degree) by Johnny's skating.
  17. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    It was hard choosing just one but I chose Cranston because he risked the most in pursuing what was a unique style of skating for his time. Also, as a skater I never liked figures and I feel for free skaters who missed out on medals because of them.

    Orser's two silver medals are nothing to sneeze at, and I think he was more multifaceted than Stojko. He certainly had along and successful career both amateur and pro.

    Lambiel's musicality and performance quality are amazing. He has also maintained high technical standards as a pro.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  18. Vash01

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

    Bowman was a HUGE waste of an amazing talent. I remember Kurt saying at one time that when he first saw Chris skate (when both were young skaters), Kurt thought he could never beat him. Kurt ended up with 4 world championships and Chris none, all due to lack of discipline and bad influences (drugs). I really enjoyed Bowman's skating. He had such personality on the ice!
    Rex and (deleted member) like this.
  19. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Oh so true. He was a good-looking charismatic kid too - that so could have worked to his advantage.
  20. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

  21. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

    Who were the other skaters?
  22. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    I guess it is hard to say what he was capable of since his work ethic wasnt as strong, and it is hard to even guage his potential which we probably didnt see on the ice. I personally never saw as much potential based on anything I saw from his skating as some. I dont think in retrospect he was destined to be better than Browning or Petrenko, or much better than he was. He didnt appear to me to have either more jumping or artistic talent than the very best skaters. JMO though.
  23. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    A silver and a bronze medal at Worlds, two national championships, and a fourth place at the Olympics, and "it is hard to even gauge his potential which we probably didn't see on the ice"??? Those results would suggest quite a bit of potential....
  24. Vash01

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

    In addition a 5th place finish at the 1988 Olympics definitely showed a potential for a skater his age. Next two years he won the silver and bronze, as you pointed it out. Unfortunately from that point on his career went down instead of up. After his world silver in 89 it seemed like he would be competing for world titles in the future and at the 92 Olympics. So I am in disagreement with Judgejudy here.
  25. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    It does not prove he had more potential than the people who regularly dominated him like Browning and Petrenko though. Whether he has more potential than such skaters is subjective, and personally I didnt see it. As I said it is hard to tell for sure when he wasnt working as hard as they were, but still atleast from watching him I didnt see superior jumping or artistic talent to either of those men. When people talk about his potential "some" seem to talk about him being by far the most talented skater or one of the most talented ever, and I dont see that much. I dont believe he would have a bucketload of gold medals even with his best effort personally.
  26. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

    I voted for Orser. I really think he should have won in 84 anyhow, he was the best all-around skater at that event by a long shot. Takahashi would be a distant second IMO.

    I think Kurt Browning is a little overrated. Did he ever skate a totally clean LP? Also, he never really had a triple lutz and I can only remember him attempting it a few times.
  27. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Lambiel having so many votes is surprising. I like his skating alot, but he was never really the best skater in the World. At the time of his 2 World titles Plushenko was considered the dominant skater by far, and had to withdraw midway through one injured, and skipped the other just after the Olympics. He also had a relatively short career near the top. He never come at all close to winning an OGM either, not in 2006 or 2010. He just wasnt a consistent or strong enough jumper to ever have a real shot at the OGM. He is basically the male Cohen except with 2 World titles.
  28. Vash01

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

    I agree most of this, except for him being the male Cohen. When the window of opportunity was open for him (like in 05 & 06 worlds) he got through it and won those titles. Cohen could not get it done even at the 2006 worlds when the gold was just waiting for her, with Shizuka and Irina absent, and her only competition being Suguri (I don't think Meissner was even viewed as her competition at that time).
  29. shine

    shine Well-Known Member

    Doesn't make him any less great of a skater. Obviously, there's more to the definition of a great skater than medal counts.
  30. judgejudy27

    judgejudy27 Well-Known Member

    Well with the exception of the 2006 Worlds which she totally blew, Sasha always seemed to have to skate completely clean to win. Her rivals at the time like Slutskaya, Kwan, and Arakawa were so strong she never had any margin. Lambiel found himself in a situation he was able to win major titles without skating cleanly. He could have even won the 2010 Olympics without skating cleanly, just needed to make less mistakes than he did. Sasha never had that luxury.