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

Japanfan

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

Canada

Men- Patrick Chan.
I think most people would say that Kurt Browning is the greatest Canadian male skater ever. It's hard to argue against that, even though Kurt was competing before I started watching skating seriously.

For me, it might be Elvis Stojko. I'll never forget him competing his FP with an injured groin at the '98 Olympics and then limping to the podium to collect his silver medal. And I think his Bruce Lee program was a masterpiece. I had hoped to see him evolve as a skater after that, but IMO at some point he began to regress - most evident when he brought back the Bruce Lee for the 2002 Olympics, and the program had lost its power by that point.

But even so, he left his mark.
 

vanillashake

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Personally not a fan of Stojko's skating at all so he would never be my personal pick, even though credentials wise he is certainly in contention for top Canadian man ever.
 

Vagabond

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One of the factors I used was quality of skating. As good as Browning's was, Chan's was better. Stojko's was inferior.
 

Zemgirl

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Men: Péra :unsure: (To bomb once at the Olympics, Mr. Joubert, may be regarded as misfortune. To bomb four times looks like carelessness.)
It's probably more accurate to say that Joubert bombed twice - he wasn't yet a contender in 2002, and he did the best he could given his diminishing skills and fitness in 2014. The SP was surprisingly good for him, and he just ran out of gas in the FS.

I'm no good at ranking things/doing best of lists and the like, so I'll sit this out :) but if we define "greatest" in terms of impact and performance ability rather than pure skill, I'd definitely favor Browning over Chan.
 

Miki89

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Since I am not so knowledgeable about dance and pairs, I am only going to do the singles discipline.

USA

Ladies: Michelle Kwan (She didn't win the OGM, but I don't see anyone exceeding her influence and skating quality).

Men: Dick Button

Russia

Ladies: Irina Slutskaya

Men: Alexei Yagudin

Canada

Ladies: Liz Manley (Her influence is quite significant.)

Men: Kurt Browning (He had bad luck at the Olympics but his influence seems greater than Patrick Chan's. He also had
far more iconic programs).

Japan

Ladies: Mao Asada (Midori was the pioneer but Mao was more decorated. Her popularity and influence among the next
generation of skaters seem to have already exceeded her predecessor. She also had a greater
balance of the technical and artistic aspects of the sport.)

Men: Yuzuru Hanyu


France

Ladies: Surya Bonaly

Men: Brian Joubert
 

vanillashake

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The French men had quite a run in the 60s and early 70s. Between Calmat and Pera they won 3 Olympic medals, a World title, and a large number of World and European medals. Calmat is the 1964 Olympic silver medalist, 1965 World Champion, a 5 time World medalist, and 3 time European Champion. I thought of picking him over Joubert, but I have read horror stories of his Olympic silver where he actually went in favored to win. He bombed his free skate so badly the audience was loudly booing the results and his placing. He actually managed the silver despite being 3rd in figures and 5th in free skating as well. I think he lit the flame at the 68 Olympics in Grenoble though so he was a huge star in France.

One really surprising French skater who most probably remember is Phillipe Candelero who won 2 Olympic medals.

One of the factors I used was quality of skating. As good as Browning's was, Chan's was better. Stojko's was inferior.
I agree in terms of pure quality of skating, the basics, Chan is for sure better. As much as I love Browning, and generally preferred him from an entertainment standpoint. And Stojko definitely comes well short of both in pure skating quality.

If you are talking most influential Canadian man, even today both Cranston and Jackson would have a case.
 
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IloveFS

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Canada

Men - Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Patrick Chan and Kevin Reynolds (all for different reasons but they all pushed the sport in Canada and left their mark)
Women - Barbara Ann Scott and Katelyn Osmond
Pairs - Underhill and Martini, Brasseur and Eisler, Sale and Peltier and Duhamel and Radford
Ice Dance - Definitely Virtue and Moir, but I was a huge fan of Bourne and Kraatz and Wilson and McCall

US

Men - Nathan Chen, Evan Lysacek, Dick Button and Brian Boitano
Women - Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski and Sarah Hughes
Pairs - Bablionia & Gardner, Kitty and Peter Carruthers, and Jenni Meno and Todd Sand
Ice Dance - Davis and White and the Shibsibs

Japan

Men - Yuzuru Hanyu and Daisake Takahashi
Women - Mao Asada, Shizuka Arakawa and Miki Ando
Pairs - None
Dance - None

France

Men - Brian Joubert, Philippe Candeloro and Florent Amodio
Women - Surya Bonaly
Pairs - Vanessa James and Morgan Cipres
Ice Dance - Pechalat and Bourzat

Russia

Men - Plushenko and Yagudin
Women - Slutskaya
Pairs - Gordeeva and Grinko
Ice Dance - Stepanova and Bukin
 

nuge

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[QUOTE="IloveFS, post: 56167




Ice Dance - Stepanova and Bukin
[/QUOTE]
.S/B haven't got on the world podium yet :D I don't think they're the best from Russia yet.P/B France? Think Anissina would have something to say about that :p
 

Japanfan

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One of the factors I used was quality of skating. As good as Browning's was, Chan's was better. Stojko's was inferior.
I agree in terms of pure quality of skating, the basics, Chan is for sure better. As much as I love Browning, and generally preferred him from an entertainment standpoint. And Stojko definitely comes well short of both in pure skating quality.
What distinguished Stojko was his strength as a competitor. IMO. And his capacity to rise to the occasion.

Also, he limited himself in terms of his growth by his insistence on doing 'masculine' (his word) programs. That said, those programs really suited him. And I commend him for staying true to himself throughout his career.
 

Vagabond

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What distinguished Stojko was his strength as a competitor. IMO. And his capacity to rise to the occasion.

Also, he limited himself in terms of his growth by his insistence on doing 'masculine' (his word) programs. That said, those programs really suited him. And I commend him for staying true to himself throughout his career.
The same could be said about Evan Lysacek, yet I wouldn't call him the greatest U.S. Men's skater. And I think his basic skating was better than Stojko's. YMMV. :shuffle:
 

gk_891

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Canada

Pairs - Wagner & Paul
Mens - Kurt Browning
Dance - Virtue & Moir
Ladies - Kaetlyn Osmond

USA

Pairs - the Carruthers
Mens - Brian Boitano
Dance - Davis & White (although I prefer Blumberg & Seibert and Schwomeyer & Sladky)
Ladies - Michelle Kwan Or Kristi Yamaguchi (although my favourite is probably Harding)

Russia (not counting skaters who only skated for the Soviet Union and never skated for Russia)

Pairs - Gordeeva & Grinkov or Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze
Mens - Evgeni Plushenko (although I much prefer watching Yagudin or Kulik)
Dance - Grishuk & Platov
Ladies - Irina Slutskaya

Japan

Pairs - Takahashi & Tran
Mens - Yuzuru Hanyu
Dance - ?
Ladies - Midori Ito

France

Pairs - James & Cipres
Mens - Brian Joubert
Dance - Anissina & Peizerat (for now)
Ladies - Surya Bonaly
 

Japanfan

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The same could be said about Evan Lysacek, yet I wouldn't call him the greatest U.S. Men's skater. And I think his basic skating was better than Stojko's. YMMV. :shuffle:
I wouldn't call either of them the greatest, or even claim they are among the greatest. But within FS in Canada, Elvis is considered one of the greats - inducted into the Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 2011.

But as I said, I think Elvis was a great competitor. He had to be technically superior in order to win his World titles and Olympic silver medals because he was always at an artistic disadvantage. I do think his Bruce Lee program actually was very artistic, but that was the pinnacle for Elvis in terms of artistry. Even so, I agree with Urmanov winning the gold at the '94 Olympics.
 
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Vagabond

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"One of the greats" doesn't cut it in this thread. Either you're Mohammed Ali or you're nothing. :COP:
 
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ldec

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By "the greatest", do we mean the most successful in terms of titles, or the most talented, or the ones with longest running success even if that did not always equal gold medals? Are we talking about the skaters who pushed the sport forward?

Anyway, here is my take on the topic:

USA
Men - Dick Button
Ladies - Michelle Kwan (even though she never won OGM, her longetivity, talent, charisma, iconic status and success cannot be denied)
Ice dance - Davis/White
Pairs - Babilonia & Gardner (pity they had to withdraw in 1980)

Canada
Men - Patrick Chan
Ladies - Barbara Ann Scott for her iconic status, Kaetlyn Osmond in the modern era
Pairs - Sale/Pelletier, Duhamel/Radford
Ice dance - Virtue/Moir

Russia
Men - Alexei Yagudin, even though Plushenko had a longer career
Ladies - Evgenia Medvedeva
Pairs - that is a very difficult one; a tie between Rodnina and her partners, Gordeeva/Grinkov and Belousova/Protopopov
Ice dance - I don't really care about it; I leave it up for the experts to decide

France
Men - Brian Joubert
Ladies - Suruya Bonaly
Pairs - ?
Ice dance - Papadakis/Cizeron, Annissina/Peizerat

Japan
Men - Hanyu
Ladies - tie between Midori Ito for her athletic prowess and pushing boundaries, Mao Asada for possessing the perfect mixture of talent, her longetivity and being so decorated, and Shizuka Arakawa fo being the only Japanese Olympic champion
Pairs - Takahashi/Tran
Ice dance - ?
 
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Japanfan

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I'm surprised noone has mentioned Toller Cranston for Canada. He may be the greatest ever in Canada because he revolutionized the sport - a claim no other Canadian skater can make. And he truly was an artiste on the ice. Few, if any, can say the same (Ilia Klimkin comes to mind, and Mishe Ge, but not many other skaters).
 

ldec

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I'm surprised noone has mentioned Toller Cranston for Canada. He may be the greatest ever in Canada because he revolutionized the sport - a claim no other Canadian skater can make. And he truly was an artiste on the ice. Few, if any, can say the same (Ilia Klimkin comes to mind, and Mishe Ge, but not many other skaters).
Yes, this is true. He competed at a time when his skating was not adequately rewarded by judges. When I interviewed Taiwanese skater David Liu for my blog, he said the following about Toller:

Toller always felt like the step-child in figure skating, while John Curry, with his classical lines and style, was always treated like the favorite one. I have seen many skaters trying to emulate John, but I am yet to see anyone like Toller.
David Liu himself has worked with both Cranston and Curry during his competitive career, by the way.
 
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skatesindreams

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Without them, none of the others discussed, would have accomplished what they did.
I'm surprised noone has mentioned Toller Cranston for Canada. He may be the greatest ever in Canada because he revolutionized the sport - a claim no other Canadian skater can make. And he truly was an artiste on the ice. Few, if any, can say the same (Ilia Klimkin comes to mind, and Mishe Ge, but not many other skaters).
See post 39
 

Vash01

Fan of Yuzuru, Three A's, T&M, P&C
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I'm surprised noone has mentioned Toller Cranston for Canada. He may be the greatest ever in Canada because he revolutionized the sport - a claim no other Canadian skater can make. And he truly was an artiste on the ice. Few, if any, can say the same (Ilia Klimkin comes to mind, and Mishe Ge, but not many other skaters).
That would be a different thread, IMO. Some skaters revolutionized the sport, with or without an Olympic medal. They may not be the greatest in the context of This thread, but some of them are (e.g. Ito). Stojko revolutionized the sport. He was not the first to land a quad but he pushed others to land quads and quad combinations. He may not be considered among the Canadian greats (too much competition there) but in FS he should be considered one of the greats, like Cranston. Klimkin could belong in the ‘different thread’ category. The Protopopovs changed pairs skating forever. They are definitely among the greatest pairs but may not be The greatest, because of the rich tradition of Russian pairs skating. However, they were the base for all the Russian pairs that followed, like G&G, B&S, etc. I would consider M&D who brought the second revolution in pairs skating, with their innovations and artistry.
 
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Japanfan

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That would be a different thread, IMO. Some skaters revolutionized the sport, with or without an Olympic medal. They may not be the greatest in the context of This thread, but some of them are (e.g. Ito). Stojko revolutionized the sport. He was not the first to land a quad but he pushed others to land quads and quad combinations.
I would say Stojko pushed the sport, not that he revolutionized it in the sense of changing or transforming it.

If Stojko did revolutionize it, what about Nathan Chen, with his five (I think?) quads? Couldn't the same be said about him.

I would consider M&D who brought the second revolution in pairs skating, with their innovations and artistry.
How did M&D revolutionize pairs?
 

Mozart

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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.

I remember not very much about Olga Markova. Shame on me. :p
I loved Olga Markova. Her programs were all very unique.
 

Vash01

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I would also put Denise Biellman, Lucinda Ruh and some other Swiss skaters in this category - one of the skaters who revolutionized the sport (although this thread is not about Swiss skaters). Who can forget Denise Biellman? Her spin (although initially it was done by Tamara Moskvina) will live forever in FS.
 

giselle23

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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.
She's also not on Slutskaya's level in terms of longevity, competitiveness and presence on the ice.
 

aliceanne

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No Great Britain? John Curry, Robin Cousins, Torvill/Dean are noteworthy in any accounting of figure skating greats. They aren’t recent but they were groundbreaking.
 

vanillashake

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She's also not on Slutskaya's level in terms of longevity, competitiveness and presence on the ice.
I did not like Slutskaya's skating so I am probably biased against her. Things I see Slutskaya lacking compared to Medvedeva and Zagitova though.

1. Medvedeva absolutely dominated 2.5 seasons. Zagitova has mostly dominated 2 seasons. Slutskaya was never dominant. There were periods in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, she might have been considered the favorite or the one to beat, even over Kwan, Cohen, Arakawa, whoever was her main competitor at the time, but she never truly dominated. Medvedeva and Zagitova have dominated.

2. Slutskaya actually could have won many more big events than she did. Which makes her a bit of a choker. She should have won 2 Olympics- 2002 and 2006, she wins both those with only a moderately good smooth 6 triple skate, which is far below her potential best, and she couldnt even manage that, big choking. She also missed chances to win 2000, 2001, and 1997 worlds. So many blown chances. Medvedeva and Zagitova have never missed an opportunity to win a big event, any chance they have they take it or atleast do their best to try and take it. Even the 2018 Olympics Medvedeva skated perfectly and lost, she did nothing to lose the chance like Slutskaya often does to herself. Imagine if Medvedeva had been lucky enough to be in the 2002 or 2006 Olympics instead and skated like 2018, she wins both those events super easily, as Slutskaya should have given the other performances but blew by messing up.

3. I dont think Slutskaya had any artistry. She was only a technical skater. Which is why whenever she missed any jumps like she often did in big events like Worlds and Olympics, like she missed crucial jumps in the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, and 2000 and 2001 worlds, she always lost, since she did not have the artistry to compensate for any technical errors. Now I know Medvedeva and Zagitova arent considered the most stunning artistic skater ever either, but I think they have some artistry and musicality, more than Slutskay atleast. They are both technicians and artists, which I dont think Slutskaya was.


Slutskaya is also lucky the Russian fed backed her over Butyrskaya. Had they chosen Butyrskaya as their favorite instead I bet Butyrskaya has atleast the same career Slutskaya had, if not better, and Slutskaya has no better a career than Butyrskaya had, if that. Anyone who followed skating at the time knows what I am talking about. The support between the two was never evenly split, even when both were contending. I have even heard at the 2000 worlds some of the Russian insiders were furious when the short program results were 1. Butyrskaya, 2. Slutskaya, 3. Kwan. They would rather have it end up as it did with Kwan winning but Slutskaya atleast being top Russian, than if they had gone 1-2 but with Butyrskaya winning over Slutskaya. And Butyrskaya was reigning World Champ at that point but the Russian fed was still 100% team Irina.
 

vanillashake

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No Great Britain? John Curry, Robin Cousins, Torvill/Dean are noteworthy in any accounting of figure skating greats. They aren’t recent but they were groundbreaking.
I should add some countries now that we have gone further into the discussion.


Great Britian

Men- Robin Cousins. I know many will pick Curry which is fine but I just find Cousins more athletic and overall a marginally better skater.

Ladies- Joanne Conway. I know it probably isnt her, and on paper it is Altwegg by a mile, but I really liked her skating the rare times she wasnt splatting it up. For me she was a medalist at 91 worlds if I were a judge.

Dance- Torvill & Dean

Pairs- umm someone help me here. Would it really be Kemp & King, haha.



Ukraine

Men- Viktor Petrenko

Ladies- Elena Liashenko. For me long career as the viled old lady beats Baiul's short career as the queen of the Emperor with no clothes.

Dance- Grushina & Goncharov

Pairs- Volosozhar & Savchenko (the pair who never was). If I cant pick that then Volosozhar & Morozov I guess


Italy

Men- ??? Samuel Contesti maybe. It will be Rizzo in time I hope though.

Ladies- Kostner of course.

Pairs- Marchei & Hotarek

Dance- Fusar Poli & Margalio
 

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