Who are the greatest skaters ever from Canada, U.S, Japan, France, and Russia

vanillashake

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Who are the greatest skaters ever for their country for these 5 major skating countries.

Canada

Men- Patrick Chan.

Ladies- Osmond. Ann Scott achieved the most but the competition level is nothing like today.

Dance- Virtue & Moir.

Pairs- Underhill & Martini. Mostly due to their pro careers, but if they didnt have their World amateur title I couldnt go with them.


United States

Men- Boitano. It will be Chen easily in time though.

Ladies- Yamaguchi. It was close for me between Heiss, Kwan, Yamaguchi, Fleming. Heiss achieved the most in amateur, but Kristi's combined amateur and pro achievements, but her over the others. Remember in addition to her Olympic Gold, back to back World titles, she has 4 World Pro titles.

Dance- Belbin & Agosto. Davis & White achieved the most but did it in such a weak field with Virtue & Moir their only competition. Belbin & Agosto paved the way for U.S dance, and won many medals in a super deep field with 8 or 9 contending teams.

Pairs- Carruthers. Mostly due to their pro careers again, plus their Olympic silver.


Russia

Men- Yagudin.

Ladies- Zagitova/Medvedeva. I guess achievements wise it might be Slutskaya for now, but she competed in a weak era with Kwan her only competition most of the time, except for Cohen and Shizuka at the very end when Kwan was no longer a factor. And she still choked often in big meets, she should have had 5 or 6 world titles and 2 Olympic Golds/3 Olympic medals; unlike nervous competitor Slutskaya, machines Medvedeva and Zagitova never choke so just imagine what they would have achieved back then. Medvedeva and Zagitova compete in an insane era where there competition in Russia is super hard with like 5 plus potential World Champions each year. Slutskaya's only competition in Russia was Butyrskaya.

Dance- Klimova & Ponomarenko.

Pairs- Gordeeva & Grinkov.


Japan

Men- Hanyu.

Ladies- Asada (if not her Ito). Arakawa achieved the most, but Asada and Ito are far more iconic. Both also competed in much tougher eras, and were far more consistent. Arakawa's Olympic Gold performance also probably would not have won gold at the 98 Olympics, 8 years earlier, and would not even medal in 2010, which cheapens the achievement somewhat.

Dance- no idea.

Pairs- Takahashi & Tran


France

Men- Joubert.

Ladies- Bonaly.

Dance- Anissina & Peizerat. They have the Olympic Gold and were the dominant skaters of their quad (99-2002). That puts them over Papadakis & Cizeron for now.

Pairs- Brunets.
 

vanillashake

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Things about I guess I change my mind on Belbin & Agosto over Davis & White. D&W did compete in a weak dance era with no depth at all, and only 2 top teams, but they still had to beat maybe the greatest team ever for their big titles which I dont think Belbin & Agosto could have done. Even if Belbin & Agosto competed at time for way more depth in the field. So change that one choice I guess.
 

Vagabond

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13,447
Great thread topic for the off-season! (y)

CANADA 🇨🇦

Men: Chan
Ladies: Osmond
Dance: Virtue/Moir
Pairs: Salé/Pelletier (They earned the Olympic Gold Medal, did they not? :saint: )

USA 🇺🇸

Men: Button (Chen is rising up the list.)
Ladies: Lynn (She is the gold standard. Compulsory figures be damned!)
Dance: Davis/White
Pairs: Babilonia/Gardner :wuzrobbed

RUSSIA 🇷🇺

Men: Plushenko :blah:
Ladies: Slutskaya
Dance: Grishuk/Platov :unsure:
Pairs: Protopovs (The Pairs equivalent of Lynn)

JAPAN: 🇯🇵

Men: Hanyu
Ladies: Ito (We are now reaching a point where one or more Japanese women may eclipse Ito. But not yet.)
Dance: 🤷‍♂️
Pairs: Takahashi/Tran 🍁

FRANCE: 🇫🇷

Men: Péra :unsure: (To bomb once at the Olympics, Mr. Joubert, may be regarded as misfortune. To bomb four times looks like carelessness.)
Ladies: Du Bief :unsure:
Dance: Papadakis/Cizeron
Pairs: Brunets 🥇
 
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vanillashake

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The reason I personally ranked Yagudin over Plushenko is he dominated their rivalry in the big events, even if not overall, from 98-2002. And that he had a forced retirement relatively young (21) by injury and still wound up with the same number of individual Olympic Golds and 1 more world title than Plushy. I see the arguments for Plushenko too for sure though.
 

DreamSkates

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2,294
I'll have to think about it more. I would say, those who became legends. For one, that would be Kwan over Yamaguchi.
Zagitova is not yet a legend but could be in the future.
Chan and Hanyu, definitely.
Now I am having trouble defining "legendary" as that could be OGM or being remember over many years for something. K. Browning for his artistry and footwork, for one.
Too big a question!
 

vanillashake

Banned Member
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270
I'll have to think about it more. I would say, those who became legends. For one, that would be Kwan over Yamaguchi.
Zagitova is not yet a legend but could be in the future.
Chan and Hanyu, definitely.
Now I am having trouble defining "legendary" as that could be OGM or being remember over many years for something. K. Browning for his artistry and footwork, for one.
Too big a question!
I kind of agree Zagitova might not be a "legend" depending what your exact definition of a legend is but I would also argue Slutskaya is not a legend either. Both are legends in Russia, but outside of it? Same with Medvedeva. So in that sense all 3 are in the same boat and wouldnt rule any of them out based on that.

Kwan is a worthy choice for the U.S women, but my mindset is if I look only at amateur achievements and impact Heiss (medals, wins) or Fleming (impact) is the best, and if we consider pro careers as I do but not sure if most others do, then Yamaguchi would be the best for having both a dominant amateur and dominant pro career with tons of big wins in both. I picked Underhill & Martini for Canadian pairs via factoring in both their amateur and pro careers too, where if it were just on amateur careers and impact as amateurs I would have picked Duhamel & Radford. And I picked Boitano over Hamilton for U.S men based on his amazing pro career, since just on amateur careers I would picked Hamilton.

I had a hard time picking between Chan and Browning. I grudgingly went with Chan since Browning doesnt have an Olympic medal. Plus his skating skills are the benchmark in the history of skating.
 

aftershocks

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15,817
... Pairs- Underhill & Martini. Mostly due to their pro careers, but if they didnt have their World amateur title I couldnt go with them.
You really need to change the thread title to 'greatest Canadian, et al, skaters since the 1980s,' because you are leaving out numerous champions you apparently haven't heard much about, many of whom arguably achieved more during their time than some of the more current skaters you cite.

Underhill & Martini were great for what they accomplished in breaking the 19-year pairs podium drought for Canada at Worlds and Olympics, and they were influential aesthetically in their time. However, they skated in the huge bootsteps of Canadians, Barbara Wagner & Robert Paul, who won four World pairs championships (1957 - 1960), and an Olympic gold medal in pairs, in 1960. It is the Wagner/ Paul legacy that is the foundation upon which Canadian pairs was built. In addition, Frances Dafoe & Norris Bowden of Canada won two World gold medals (1954, 1955) and two World silver medals (1953, 1956) in pairs, as well as an Olympic silver medal in pairs, in 1956 in Cortina, Italy. Otto & Maria Jelinek were also medal-winning pairs champions for Canada (two World bronze, one World silver, one World gold).

In men's singles, you can't ignore Donald Jackson when you are talking about all-time greatest for Canada (World silver medalist 1959, 1969; World gold medalist 1962; Olympic bronze medalist 1960). Even before Jackson broke through, an obscure Canadian skater (to us) named Montgomery Wilson, won a World silver medal in 1932 when Worlds was held in Montreal. In 1932, in Lake Placid, Wilson won an Olympic bronze medal for Canada. On the ladies' side for Canada, Barbara Ann Scott (1948 Olympic gold medalist; two-time World gold medalist in 1947 & 1948) and Petra Burka (1964 World & Olympic bronze medalist) are worthy of being under consideration.

As far as Canadian ice dance, I would agree that Virtue/Moir are the greatest, but there are other Canadian ice dance teams who paved the way in winning World and/or Olympic medals before V/M, beginning in the 1950s and 1960s and moving forward, with Fenton/ MacLachlan; Thompson/MacLachlan; Doan/Ormsby; Wilson/McCall; Bourne/Kraatz; and Dubreuil/Lauzon.

It's simply that the sport's history beyond a certain period is obscure for current figure skating fans, because figure skating does not effectively pass down its history, e.g., in the way that a sport like baseball does.
 

aftershocks

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15,817
Compared to the actual greatest ever ladies in the sport of figure skating, pardon me, but Alina Zagitova has a very long way to go, if she ever gets there. She's not on Carol Heiss', Janet Lynn's, Dorothy Hamill's, Peggy Fleming's, and Michelle Kwan's levels, nor is she even on Katarina Witt's, Kristi Yamaguchi's, Midori Ito's, Yuka Sato's and Mao Asada's levels, especially not in terms of skating skills, cross-over technique, and longevity (at least not yet). While Zag has chutzpah, fierce determination, and superb rotational abilities, she has subpar skating skills, horrid cross-overs, overdone political favor and a measure of good luck for the major medals she has attained so far.
 

vanillashake

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Compared to the actual greatest ever ladies in the sport of figure skating, pardon me, but Alina Zagitova has a very long way to go, if she ever gets there. She's not on Carol Heiss', Janet Lynn's, Dorothy Hamill's, Peggy Fleming's, and Michelle Kwan's levels, nor is she even on Katarina Witt's, Kristi Yamaguchi's, Midori Ito's, Yuka Sato's and Mao Asada's levels, especially not in terms of skating skills, cross-over technique, and longevity (at least not yet). While Zag has chutzpah, fierce determination, and superb rotational abilities, she has subpar skating skills, horrid cross-overs, overdone political favor and a measure of good luck for the major medals she has attained so far.
Yes but the title is only greatest ever for your country, not greatest ever. So Zagitova is not being compared to any American or Japanese skaters, only to other Russians like Slutskaya and Medvedeva.

Not sure why you list Yuka Sato as one of the greats either. Her skating skills are amazing, but she had a modest amateur career with only 1 world or Olympic medal. Her stellar pro career does not even make up for that. Also if you are talking about things like "crossover technique" Witt was terrible.
 
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aftershocks

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15,817
Yes but the title is only greatest ever for your country, not greatest ever. So Zagitova is not being compared to any American or Japanese skaters, only to other Russians like Slutskaya and Medvedeva.

Not sure why you list Yuka Sato as one of the greats either. Her skating skills are amazing, but she had a modest amateur career with only 1 world or Olympic medal. Her stellar pro career does not even make up for that. Also if you are talking about things like "crossover technique" Witt was terrible.
I was chiefly making the point regarding greatest ever Canadian skaters, specifically regarding the Canadian skaters listed that did not take into account amazing and pioneering Canadian champions from the past. Therefore, my point still stands that the thread title should be adjusted to reflect greatest ever in each country from the 1980s onward, because that's about as far back as many current fans' memories or grasp of the sport go, particularly young fans. :)

That you feel the need to dismiss the greatness of Yuka Sato's skating is your business. She possessed much more than great skating skills. Her overall abilities (if not her career medals) rival every Japanese ladies skater to date! OTOH, Katarina Witt is famous moreso for her fierce competitive will rather than for the greatness of her skating talent. I never made any special claims about Witt's crossovers in particuar. I mentioned her in general among a group of special ladies. As far as edging and crossover technique, it's obviously mainly Sato, Lynn, Hamill, Fleming, and Kwan who excelled in those categories. For me, Witt's persona and her fierce competitiveness, more than her skating talent, are memorable. And still, for the overall accomplishments in her career, and the maturity she developed over time, I'd still rate Witt over Zagitova at this juncture!

In any case, all of the main points I made, still stand. In fact, Zagitova truthfully would not be at the top of any well-informed list of great figure skating champions in the ladies division. Maybe she might garner close to the top in terms of Russian ladies skating history, but definitely not internationally. Apparently, Zagitova's career isn't over yet anyway. So let's see if she's able to improve beyond what she currently exhibits on the ice. For me, it's not enough to rotate fast, to be pretty, and to have Eteri as your demanding coach, or to have grabbed an Olympic gold medal based largely on politics (PCS manipulation), hype, tech abilities, precocious determination and bells & whistles.

I personally think it's about time that the sport took a good long look at their over-fascination for gazing at and over-hyping pretty pre-teens and teenagers who possess out-of-this-world flexibility, competitive gumption and amazing rotational skills, but who have paid no real competitive dues, and who lack aesthetic and emotional maturity. Let them skate and compete, but stop over-rewarding and over-hyping them to the nth degree, and setting them up as exemplary models of 'ladies' figure skating.
 
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vanillashake

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Maybe she might garner close to the top in terms of Russian ladies skating history
And that is all that matters. :ROFLMAO: This is only a thread about the greatest skaters from each country in each discipline. Thus the ONLY relevant point pertaining to Zagitova is if she has a case as possibly greatest Russian lady ever, nothing more than that. Internationally is 100% irrelevant. So essentialy your whole long diatribe was for nothing and about nothing.
 

aftershocks

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15,817
And that is all that matters. :ROFLMAO: This is only a thread about the greatest skaters from each country in each discipline. Thus the ONLY relevant point pertaining to Zagitova is if she has a case as possibly greatest Russian lady ever, nothing more than that. Internationally is 100% irrelevant. So essentialy your whole long diatribe was for nothing and about nothing.
Russian ladies frankly do not have a very long or stellar competitive history internationally in singles, so it's a short list anyway. :lol: The few Russian ladies who won medals at Worlds in the 1980s would not make a 'greatest ever' list IMHO. But they were pioneering in making inroads. OGM winner Oksana Baiul came up under the Soviet system, but she was Ukrainian. I think Oksana is one of the great aesthetic skaters, but not an overall greatest ever because she did not have the best technical strengths. It's possible to characterize Oksana as the first supernova Soviet ladies talent who won it all and then fizzled out without ever reaching her full potential.

Irina Slutskaya would be at the top of the list for her resilence, athleticism and longevity. Maria Butryskaya for her fierce desire, creativity, aesthetic maturity and ambition in the face of daunting odds and questionable talent in terms of her skating skills.

Next, in terms of overall talent (not in terms of medals): Liza Tuktamysheva, Evgenia Medvedeva, Adelina Sotnikova, Alena Leonova, Yulia Lipnitskaya, Polina Tsurskaya, Ksenia Markova, Alina Zagitova.

Also-rans: Anna Pogorilaya, Elena Radionova, Olga Markova, Victoria Volchkova, Kira Ivanova. I would not rate Soldatova, Sokolova, Sotskova et al, that highly. It's too soon to say how well more recent upcoming skaters like Samodurova, Konstantinova, Trusova, Scherbakova, and Kostornaia may fare long term. If they don't burn out too soon, it certainly seems possible that the latter three young ladies have the potential to surpass the medal-winning accomplishments of Medvedeva, Tuktamysheva, and Zagitova. :COP:
 

vanillashake

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Russian ladies frankly do not have a very long or stellar competitive history internationally in singles, so it's a short list anyway. :lol: The few Russian ladies who won medals at Worlds in the 1980s would not make a 'greatest ever' list IMHO. But they were pioneering in making inroads. OGM winner Oksana Baiul came up under the Soviet system, but she was Ukrainian. I think Oksana is one of the great aesthetic skaters, but not an overall greatest ever because she did not have the best technical strengths. It's possible to characterize Oksana as the first supernova Soviet ladies talent who won it all and then fizzled out without ever reaching her full potential.

Irina Slutskaya would be at the top of the list for her resilence, athleticism and longevity. Maria Butryskaya for her fierce desire, creativity, aesthetic maturity and ambition in the face of daunting odds and questionable talent in terms of her skating skills.

Next, in terms of overall talent (not in terms of medals): Liza Tuktamysheva, Evgenia Medvedeva, Adelina Sotnikova, Alena Leonova, Yulia Lipnitskaya, Polina Tsurskaya, Ksenia Markova, Alina Zagitova.

Also-rans: Anna Pogorilaya, Elena Radionova, Olga Markova, Victoria Volchkova, Kira Ivanova. I would not rate Soldatova, Sokolova, Sotskova et al, that highly. It's too soon to say how well more recent upcoming skaters like Samodurova, Konstantinova, Trusova, Scherbakova, and Kostornaia may fare long term. If they don't burn out too soon, it certainly seems possible that the latter three young ladies have the potential to surpass the medal-winning accomplishments of Medvedeva, Tuktamysheva, and Zagitova. :COP:
I agree with most of this. Baiul does not technically qualify being Ukranian, even if she grew up in the Soviet system before the break up. I would not put Butyrskaya up with Medvedeva, Zagitova, Slutskaya, or probably even Tuktamysheva though. Her resilency was amazing but she was never a great talent relatively speaking. She won her World title as a huge underdog, she got the absolute most out of her ability as she was never even considered a gold contender, and usually a long shot podium contender. And if she were born today she probably wouldnt even make a World team for Russia.

I might even put someone like Ivanova or Vodorezova over Butyrskaya for being a trailblazer for Russian women to win medals. Vodorezova also was a technical trailblazer for women in the late 70s with all the triples she was doing before juvenile arthritis weakened her and nearly ended her career long before her potential prime, and it was amazing she could come back to win European medals and the first world medal for Russia in 83 after all that. They and Butyrskaya would probably be next for me after the ones I named, along with Sotnikova and Lipnitskaia.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Yeah, I totally get what you are saying. But that's why I qualified how Butryskaya did not have good skating skills. She had absolutely no give in her knees. Plus, the federation didn't fully support her because they didn't believe in her. With all of the rejection and opposition she faced over the years, and to still make it that far by sheer will is an amazing feat in and of itself. For how she persevered and overcame daunting odds, I give Butryskaya huge props and a position at the top. Can you imagine how competitive she would have been with more superior talent?

Despite her lack of skating talent, Butryskaya possessed much more aesthetic maturity, musical expressiveness and creativity than Med, Zag, Irina, or Tuk could ever hope to develop. :D

ETA:
I have to add that Medvedeva comes closest aesthetically, but still has some maturing to do...
 
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aftershocks

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YOU'RE DEAD TO ME :angryfire:angryfire:angryfire
:shuffle:
I actually really love my Radio and I thought she was going to be the one who rose to the top above all the overly touted baby 'rinas. Sadly, alas, not to be. I still love her though, and the effort she made. I grew to enjoy Pogo -- but just as she was beginning to improve, she went off the deep end. Victoria Volchkova was always so pleasant to watch, way much moreso than determined, but anxious Sotskova of the ubiquitously furrowed brow.

I remember not very much about Olga Markova. Shame on me. :p
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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OK, Ill bite.

CANADA 🇨🇦

Men: Chan
Ladies: Osmond
Dance: Virtue & Moir
Pairs: Im gonna go with Duhamel & Radford (slightly over S&P)

USA 🇺🇸

Men: Button
Ladies: Bonafied Tie - Michelle Kwan & Kristi Yamaguchi
Dance: Davis & White
Pairs: Babliona & Gardner

RUSSIA 🇷🇺

Men: Plushenko
Ladies: Medev & Zag
Dance: Usova & Zhulin
Pairs: Bonafied Tie - G&G & Natalia & Artur

JAPAN: 🇯🇵

Men: Hanyu
Ladies: Midori Ito
Dance:
Pairs: Takahashi/Tran
 

vanillashake

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I thought of picking Du Bief over Bonaly for the French ladies but reading an account of the horror story of her 52 World title where she apparently fell twice, once skidding across the length of the ice on her backside, but still won over Sonja Klopfer due to politics, changed my mind. That doesnt mean her whole career was illegit, but her World title was definitely a little known scandal and farce.
 

bardtoob

Clichy Competitive Audition Protocol Auditor
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Canada - Patrick Chan

U.S - David Jenkins

Japan - Midori Ito

France - Brian Joubert

Russia - Nikolai Panin-Kolomenkin
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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Interesting topic.

Canada:

Men - Patrick Chan
Ladies - Liz Manley (after editing)
Pair - Brasseur & Eisler
Ice dance - Virtue & Moir

USA:

Men - Boitano & Button (tie)
Ladies - Kwan
Pair - Babilonia & Gardner
Ice dance - Davis & White

Russia:

Men - Plushenko & Yagudin (tie)
Ladies - Medvedeva & Slutskaya (tie)
Pair: - B&S/G&G/M&D (3-way tie)
Ice dance- Klimova & Ponomarenko

Japan:

Men - Hanyu
Ladies - Ito
Pair - N/A
Ice dance -N/A

France:

Men - Joubert
Ladies - Bonaly
Pair - James & Cipres (sp?)
Ice dance - Papadakis & Cizeron

May I add China to the list?

China:

Men- Boyang Jin
Ladies- Chen Lu
Pair- Shen & Zhao
Ice dance- N/A
 
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vanillashake

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I just realized I forgot Dick Button. I have to change my U.S mens pick to him. No disrespect to the amazing Boitano, but it has to be him.
 

vanillashake

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Interesting topic.

Canada:

Men - Patrick Chan
Ladies - Joannie Rochette
Pair - Brasseur & Eisler
Ice dance - Virtue & Moir

USA:

Men - Boitano & Button (tie)
Ladies - Kwan
Pair - Babilonia & Gardner
Ice dance - Davis & White

Russia:

Men - Plushenko & Yagudin (tie)
Ladies - Medvedeva & Slutskaya (tie)
Pair: - B&S/G&G/M&D (3-way tie)
Ice dance- Klimova & Ponomarenko

Japan:

Men - Hanyu
Ladies - Ito
Pair - N/A
Ice dance -N/A

France:

Men - Joubert
Ladies - Bonaly
Pair - James & Cipres (sp?)
Ice dance - Papadakis & Cizeron

May I add China to the list?

China:

Men- Boyang Jin
Ladies- Chen Lu
Pair- Shen & Zhao
Ice dance- N/A
I like your China list a lot. I prefered Chengiang Li to Boyang skating wise and jumping wise but sadly he never won a World medal.

Do you consider Rochette a stronger skater than Manley or Osmond from the eye test? Was just curious.
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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I like your China list a lot. I prefered Chengiang Li to Boyang skating wise and jumping wise but sadly he never won a World medal.

Do you consider Rochette a stronger skater than Manley or Osmond from the eye test? Was just curious.
I forgot about Manley. She should have been the one on my list, for her Olympic and world silver medals in 1988.
I will edit my post. I do consider Rochette a better skater than Osmond, despite the latter's world gold.

I like Boyang because of his amazing quad lutz 3 toe, and because of his big artistic improvements.
 

Polaris

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:shuffle:
I actually really love my Radio and I thought she was going to be the one who rose to the top above all the overly touted baby 'rinas. Sadly, alas, not to be. I still love her though, and the effort she made. I grew to enjoy Pogo -- but just as she was beginning to improve, she went off the deep end. Victoria Volchkova was always so pleasant to watch, way much moreso than determined, but anxious Sotskova of the ubiquitously furrowed brow.
No way. Radionova had horrible technique. Based on that alone she would not have lasted.
 

aftershocks

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15,817
No way. Radionova had horrible technique. Based on that alone she would not have lasted.
No need to rub it in now. ;) I already sadly termed my Radio an 'also-ran,' which don't mean I didn't have huge hopes for her when she first came up from juniors. As I said already, my hopes were dashed. We all know about Radio's poor technique, muscling of her jumps and hunching of her shoulders, but the over-rewarding by judges still happened, eh.

I give Radio props for her determined efforts, but good looks, and skating while Russian with poor technique will only get a skater so far. Winning World medals based largely on Rusfed politicking and baby 'rina hype did actually happen.
 
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