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

vanillashake

Active Member
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268
What about Carlo Fassi?
Did he have success as a skater? I only know about his coaching history. His coaching history could easily be enough to be considered the greatest person in Italian mens skating though, if not skater.
 

ldec

Active Member
Messages
93
Did he have success as a skater? I only know about his coaching history. His coaching history could easily be enough to be considered the greatest person in Italian mens skating though, if not skater.
2x European Champion (1953, 1954), World Bronze medalist (1953), 6th at the Olympics (1952)
 

giselle23

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1,524
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.
Slute was way better than Bute. Bute always skated scared. Irina from 2001 on (except when she had health problems) was always a contender for gold. Let’s see which Russian ladies skater stays at or near the top as long as Irina did.
 

vanillashake

Active Member
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268
Slute was way better than Bute. Bute always skated scared. Irina from 2001 on (except when she had health problems) was always a contender for gold. Let’s see which Russian ladies skater stays at or near the top as long as Irina did.
Irina will probably win the longevity battle, but as I said she was never a dominant skater like Medevedeva and Zagitova are. And Medvedeva and Zagitova never choked away winning big titles like Slutskaya did at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, and the 97, 2000, and 2001 worlds. The 2 Olympic ones are especialy one since she would have won easily with a smooth 6 triple skate both times which is only about 80% of her best and still could not manage even that. That is why I didnt get your "competitiveness" reference, how is the one who choked away a bunch of big titles, including 2 easy Olympic Golds, the more competitive one. And Med. and Zag. didnt have years being 4th at Nationals in the midst of their prime like Irina did, even though Irina skated at a time of WAY way less depth in Russian women. So there will always be pros and cons either way.

Med. and Zag. probably wont ever beat Irina in longevity, since nobody, not even Michelle Kwan, beats Irina in longevity. Still both already have more longevity than people predicted of them though, they might surprise a lot people there too. The Eteri dominated coaching in Russia today also isnt built to longevity, so Med. and Zag. do remarkable to last as long as they already have, and continue to.
 

vanillashake

Active Member
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268
Hear is an interesting article on one women I picked as a contender for best lady skater ever from France, Jacqueline Du Bief, including some talk of her controversial World title in 1952 where her home fans booed her win:

 

AngieNikodinovLove

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4,536
Hear is an interesting article on one women I picked as a contender for best lady skater ever from France, Jacqueline Du Bief, including some talk of her controversial World title in 1952 where her home fans booed her win:

Great article. Thanks for finding.

What different times..... "the day began with a heavy air raid."

I'm going to read this again later today.
 

vanillashake

Active Member
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268
It makes me kind of wish I could have been alive and following the sport back then, even as difficult as it would be to get coverage.
 

griffen

New Member
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11
Yes V/M are very accomplished skaters but Bourne and Kraatz will always be my favs. They skated during a time when it wasn't easy to a North American ice dance team - how times have changed. Prior to B/K there was Wilson/McCall who skated at a time when North American ice dancers were underappreciated. So yes, V/M are amazing but so were B/K and W/M. Not sure if you can compare the different era's and say the skaters from a more era are better than the skaters of an earlier era.
 

Polaris

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Messages
676
Irina will probably win the longevity battle, but as I said she was never a dominant skater like Medevedeva and Zagitova are. And Medvedeva and Zagitova never choked away winning big titles like Slutskaya did at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, and the 97, 2000, and 2001 worlds. The 2 Olympic ones are especialy one since she would have won easily with a smooth 6 triple skate both times which is only about 80% of her best and still could not manage even that. That is why I didnt get your "competitiveness" reference, how is the one who choked away a bunch of big titles, including 2 easy Olympic Golds, the more competitive one. And Med. and Zag. didnt have years being 4th at Nationals in the midst of their prime like Irina did, even though Irina skated at a time of WAY way less depth in Russian women. So there will always be pros and cons either way.

Med. and Zag. probably wont ever beat Irina in longevity, since nobody, not even Michelle Kwan, beats Irina in longevity. Still both already have more longevity than people predicted of them though, they might surprise a lot people there too. The Eteri dominated coaching in Russia today also isnt built to longevity, so Med. and Zag. do remarkable to last as long as they already have, and continue to.
I don't consider Zagitova dominant for 2 seasons, especially last when she was close to a basket case for half of it. She has also choked on several large occasions: Worlds, Nationals, Euros.
 

vanillashake

Active Member
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268
I don't consider Zagitova dominant for 2 seasons, especially last when she was close to a basket case for half of it. She has also choked on several large occasions: Worlds, Nationals, Euros.
Good point. She really only dominated 1 season just like Irina I guess. Still she has the complete set of titles already which Irina never achieved, so that probably already puts her on top.

Zagitova has also skated her absolute best in 2/3 Worlds and Olympics she has competed in. Contrast that to Irina who skated her absolute best in both programs in 0/12 Worlds and Olympics she competed in. I am factoring both programs which discounts her 2005 Worlds as she blew the short there. 2002 Worlds you could argue but her long program was very good, strong, but safe for her standards with only 6 triples and no 3/3 try so it would be a real stretch to call that her best.

If Irina were as consistent as Zagitova and Medvedeva, even moreso Medvedeva, in delivering her best she would have won the 2002 and 2006 Olympics, 1997 worlds, 2000 worlds, and maybe 2001 worlds. 2002 and 2006 Olympics would be super easy as she only had to do a smooth 6 triple clean skate, which is nowhere near her actual best, to win. She couldn't even produce that. Medvedeva wishes she had a scenario in her 1 Olympics she only had to skate 80% of her best to secure a win which is the scenario Irina lucked into in both 2002 and 2006, and still goofed it up. Medvedeva skated 95% of her best at the Olympics, the 5% is her jumps not being her best in the short, and still lost.
 

vanillashake

Active Member
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268
I am trying hard to find an article on Alain Calmat, another brilliant but controversial French skater. His silver at the 64 Grenoble Olympics was apparently an even bigger controversy than Du Bief's win at the 52 worlds. He had a disaesterous free skate but still held on to win silver (he came in the highest ranked from the 63 worlds).

An interesting and forgotten Canadian mens skater is Donald McPherson who won the World title in 63 the year but was forced to quit rather than go for the 64 Olympic Gold by financial issues.
 

magnuslarson

Banned Member
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15
For Russia I would say the greatest are the Protoppopovs. I would pick Gordeeva & Grinkov as the best ever in the world, even ahead of them, but the best Russians ever should be the Protoppopovs simply since they started the legendary reign of Russian pairs.

The best mens ever has to be Plushenko I guess which is sad since it would be Yagudin without his injury.

The best dance ever is between Klimova & Ponomarenko and Gritschuk & Platov, impossible to seperate them really. Bestiamanova & Bukin and Pakhomova & Gorshkov also have a legit case.

Best lady skater ever for me is clearly Zagitova. She has already won all the big titles which Slutskaya in her super long career failed to do and which Medvedeva failed to do. That puts her #1. Slutskaya choked away Olympic Gold badly twice, and choked at worlds many times, she only won 2 when she had chances to win nearly every year. That is not best ever stuff even for your country. And Zagitova has proven her superiority to Medvedeva already by usurpring her and taking away all her big titles.


For the U.S I would say Meno & Sand for pairs. Dick Button for men. Dorothy Hamill for ladies. And Blumberg & Seibert for dance. Forget Davis & White, Blumberg & Seibert put U.S dance on the map similar to the Protoppopovs for Russian pairs.

For Canada I would say Duhamel & Radford for pairs but Underhill & Martini have, Karen Manussen for ladies since she competed in a much tougher era than Barbara Ann Scott. Dance Virtue & Moir easily, and men probably Patrick Chan.
 

bbkenn

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1,672
For Russia I would say the greatest are the Protoppopovs. I would pick Gordeeva & Grinkov as the best ever in the world, even ahead of them, but the best Russians ever should be the Protoppopovs simply since they started the legendary reign of Russian pairs.

The best mens ever has to be Plushenko I guess which is sad since it would be Yagudin without his injury.

The best dance ever is between Klimova & Ponomarenko and Gritschuk & Platov, impossible to seperate them really. Bestiamanova & Bukin and Pakhomova & Gorshkov also have a legit case.

Best lady skater ever for me is clearly Zagitova. She has already won all the big titles which Slutskaya in her super long career failed to do and which Medvedeva failed to do. That puts her #1. Slutskaya choked away Olympic Gold badly twice, and choked at worlds many times, she only won 2 when she had chances to win nearly every year. That is not best ever stuff even for your country. And Zagitova has proven her superiority to Medvedeva already by usurpring her and taking away all her big titles.


For the U.S I would say Meno & Sand for pairs. Dick Button for men. Dorothy Hamill for ladies. And Blumberg & Seibert for dance. Forget Davis & White, Blumberg & Seibert put U.S dance on the map similar to the Protoppopovs for Russian pairs.

For Canada I would say Duhamel & Radford for pairs but Underhill & Martini have, Karen Manussen for ladies since she competed in a much tougher era than Barbara Ann Scott. Dance Virtue & Moir easily, and men probably Patrick Chan.
I agree with most of your choices only I'd put Kurt Browning in place of Patrick Chan even though he doesn't have an Olympic medal. He influenced skating in a specific way; also won 4 world titles; his footwork was just way ahead of all others except for equal to Scott Hamilton.
 

chantilly

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1,539
About above to me it’s almost a two way tie between Chan and Browning.
Chan for his edges and flow and Browning for his footwork and jumps and expression.

But if I HAD to choose it’d be Browning.

But a super hard choice.

For Russians it’s Yagudin by a land mile.

US probably Boitano.

Japan: tough. Almost equal between Hanyu and Takahashi.
 

allezfred

Baby Jolly Man Face
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I agree with most of your choices only I'd put Kurt Browning in place of Patrick Chan even though he doesn't have an Olympic medal. He influenced skating in a specific way; also won 4 world titles; his footwork was just way ahead of all others except for equal to Scott Hamilton.
Chan is/was an infinitely better skater than Browning.
 

Simone411

Well bleffing Covfefe! Clippy's flipping over P/C!
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15,753
How can I choose the greatest skaters from Japan, Russia, US, France and Canada when I consider how many great skaters there are from other Countries, too? There's no way I can possibly name how many skaters I consider the greatest skaters from the past and the present.

I feel so fortunate that I was able to watch and record so many fabulous competitions, exhibitions, Pro Shows, Holiday shows, SOI shows, Olympics, Nationals, Grand Prix and even the Euros. I still have so much skating from the past that I want to share on my YouTube channel, and maybe I will when given the time and opportunity to do so.

There are too many skaters for me to mention because when I watch the videos I've shared on my YouTube channel so far, I find beauty, talent, artistry and awesome technical skills that so many of those skaters have. The quality of their skating is impeccable.

I go to my own YouTube channel and watch the competitions, shows, etc. because it's easier for me to watch there instead of pulling out my VHS tapes and inserting them in my VCR.

If anyone wishes to see some fabulous skating, just take a look at some of the competitions and shows like the 1995 Vail Skating Festival, all the 1996 Pro Competitions, 2001 Divas on Ice, the 1995 and 1996 Fox Rock n Roll Championships, the 1999 ImprovIce show or even the 1995 Riders Ladies Championships.

I never tire of watching those shows and competitions, and I'm even more amazed every time I watch. I'm so thankful I had the opportunity to see such fine skating and was able to share all of it with other skating fans. 💞💕
 

Japanfan

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How can I choose the greatest skaters from Japan, Russia, US, France and Canada when I consider how many great skaters there are from other Countries, too? There's no way I can possibly name how many skaters I consider the greatest skaters from the past and the present.
By just thinking about the skaters from those four countries. :)

I don't have trouble identifying 'greats' (so long as I think there are some in a specific category) because to me that indicates a small number of people, relatively speaking to the discipline/domain from which they are being selected.

But I do applaud your sentiment. It's excellent to value all FSers. Most children who skate/figure skate are never going to become elite athletes.

I feel so fortunate that I was able to watch and record so many fabulous competitions, exhibitions, Pro Shows, Holiday shows, SOI shows, Olympics, Nationals, Grand Prix and even the Euros. I still have so much skating from the past that I want to share on my YouTube channel, and maybe I will when given the time and opportunity to do so.
You might consider putting a compilation together if you have the time. I'm sure people would be wiling to pay you $$ for a copy.

There are too many skaters for me to mention because when I watch the videos I've shared on my YouTube channel so far, I find beauty, talent, artistry and awesome technical skills that so many of those skaters have. The quality of their skating is impeccable.
True, and again I applaud your sentiment.

I go to my own YouTube channel and watch the competitions, shows, etc. because it's easier for me to watch there instead of pulling out my VHS tapes and inserting them in my VCR.
I stopped recording competitions about five years ago, because skating had become so easy to access on You Tube. And it has just become so much work. But I'm sure the day will come when I regret it, given that it is hard to access whole competitions on You Tube, SFAIK, as opposed to individuals skates.

I did transfer all my videos to DVD, however. For now the DVDs just sit in two boxes gathering dust. But I figure there may come a day when I want to see them again. For example, if I am homebound or in hospital, it would be a welcome and wonderful way to pass the time.

I've still got some episodes of Debbi Wilkes' Ice Time in the collection. It would be great to see those again. I just love Debbi Wilkes.
 

Simone411

Well bleffing Covfefe! Clippy's flipping over P/C!
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@Japanfan, thank you for all your suggestions. What I've done is save all the videos I've made so far on an external hard drive. I use it strictly for that. I've thought about compiling the competitions on DVD's, but I would never think of selling them to actually make money.

That's why I made a YouTube channel so that everyone could enjoy them. There is a really good YouTube downloader made by Digiarty that is free to download. Digiarty also makes a free DVD burner - WinX DVD Author. Here's the link to see all of there products plus the free software is listed there, too.

WinXDVD Download Center

I stopped recording them too especially since the VCR is obsolete. That is why I only share skating from the past on my channel. Being that I can't get out as much like I used to because of my disability, I had found some time to make the videos and added them to the YouTube channel. I slacked up some on making them the past couple of years due to different health issues that came up. Hopefully, I'll find time now to make them again because I still have several shows and competitions that I wanted to add. :)
 

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