Who is the better skater (all things considered): Evgeny Plushenko, Alexei Yagudin or Yuzuru Hanyu?

Who is the better skater (all things considered): Evgeny Plushenko, Alexei Yagudin or Yuzuru Hanyu?

  • Evgeny Plushenko

    Votes: 9 5.0%
  • Yuzuru Hanyu

    Votes: 121 66.9%
  • Alexei Yagudin

    Votes: 51 28.2%

  • Total voters
    181

shine

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,811
For me Plushenko has more beautiful and balletic arms and especially hands! His style is balletic in general. But we will see his balletic skills again and more intensively this year. In his new Swan Lake show he will dance on floor not just skate.

BTW Yuzuru's new FS is the Origin, his idol Plushenko's Nijinsky's arragement. :)
IMO if one has really seen some ballet, they would realize Plushenko has very little that’s balletic about him (nor does Yagudin). I always wondered why the Nijinsky program was called what it was because it had nothing to do with ballet. Not his posture or his movement quality.
 

Rina RUS

Well-Known Member
Messages
772
IMO if one has really seen some ballet, they would realize Plushenko has very little that’s balletic about him (nor does Yagudin).
Let it be. :) I don't say: "balletic". I say: "magical" - that's enough. :)
 

Rina RUS

Well-Known Member
Messages
772
I would say neither "balletic" nor "magical". My word would be "charismatic".
That's an issue for a scientific discussion. :) It deserves a new thread, doesn't it?
My English isn't perfect, but dictionaries say that word is "magical". :)
 

anonymoose_au

Member
Messages
43
IMO if one has really seen some ballet, they would realize Plushenko has very little that’s balletic about him (nor does Yagudin). I always wondered why the Nijinsky program was called what it was because it had nothing to do with ballet. Not his posture or his movement quality.
Well, it's a Tribute to Nijinsky, and Plushy does in fact do several poses throughout the program that echoed some of Nijinsky's famous moves.

Obviously, it's pretty hard to replicate ballet moves on ice, but I think Plushy did pretty well!
 

lala

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,610
IMO if one has really seen some ballet, they would realize Plushenko has very little that’s balletic about him (nor does Yagudin). I always wondered why the Nijinsky program was called what it was because it had nothing to do with ballet. Not his posture or his movement quality.
No? This is your opinion and the opinion is free. For many fans of FS Plushenko's Nijinsky program always will be a balletic program but we are only laymen. That's also true I know many ballet fans among Plushenko's fancamp. Of course, Plushenko is not Sergei Polunin. How could be??? But Plushenko was in Kirov Ballet's audition and he was good enough but he chose the FS.
Yuri Smekalov Prime dancer and choreographer in Kirov Ballet praised his ability, he was the choreographer of the Nijinsky. Plushenko did some famous original Nijinsky moves in the program. And I have never heard that Plushenko has bad posture.
This is the original version of the program it's less well-known but I think I like it more than at the Rus Nat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbjJufbHXpE I like how the ABC commentators praised him..
Well, I made a summary:

-Plushenko has bad posture
-Plushenko's movement quality is not enough..
-His jumps are mediocre
-he is not artistry


Can you tell me something I forgot about?

But he won and he is the most decorated champion in Fs history. OK.

If you missed these informations: Plushenko was Maya Plisetskaya's favorite, but Nikolai Tsiskaridze is also a fan of him. Sergei Filin said he kneels to Plushenko. He will be the choreographer of the Swan Lake. https://www.instagram.com/p/BjEtDOMn8oD/?taken-by=plushenkoofficial Plushenko will dance on floor with Olga Smirnova. After Torino Roberto Bolle also praised him, he said he was flawless and artistry. What a surprise! I see your avatar probably you interested in the ballet and know these names. I apologize you but I believe these giants of ballet.....( I have links about these informations if you don't believe me)

Plushenk on floor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELud8GUfpdQ

I would like to ask, which Plushenko's exhibitions have you seen last years? For ex

Plushenko's solo in Nutcracker show..https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AH-fLceGvgQ
 
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savchenkoboss

Banned Member
Messages
471
I do think Plushenko is more naturally balletic than Yagudin anyway. He has better posture, better arm movements, better extensions, flow, and positions. Yagudin was never known for line or stretch. However Yagudin just has much better choreography and programs for the most part, and he skates with more genuine connection to his music most times. I wish Plushenko had a choreographer other than Mishin to see what he was truly capable of.
 

Fiero425

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,739
I do think Plushenko is more naturally balletic than Yagudin anyway. He has better posture, better arm movements, better extensions, flow, and positions. Yagudin was never known for line or stretch. However Yagudin just has much better choreography and programs for the most part, and he skates with more genuine connection to his music most times. I wish Plushenko had a choreographer other than Mishin to see what he was truly capable of.
All 3 have something about their skating that set themselves apart from others in their eras; Plushy pushing Yags to do more than normally required because of his quads! If Evgeny hadn't been around, Alexei would have been able to scale back his programs which contributed to the entropy of his hip(s)! Plushenko's my favorite, but if at their peak, Yags would win easily due to the passionate nature of his well choreographed programs! Obviously Hanyu would toast them both with programs off the charts in originality, grace, and power! Neither Russian comes close; Yags a bit clunky in comparison to the other 2! Those Olympic season programs of AY were something else though; "Winter" & "The Man In The Iron Mask" were great! :rolleyes::COP::judge::plush::yikes:
 

Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
21,078
I won't go into technique details and start crazy discussions (I guess they'll come anyway though:D), but overall to me Yagudin's passion trumps everything and I have to go with him. (I've seen both him and Plushy live several times, but not Hanyu).

To quote the late Ziggy, who will always be with us here - it was about Yagudin's Winter, but could be said of most of his programs: He skated it like there was no tomorrow! :respec:
[/QUOTE]

I always preferred Plush to Yags but have to agree with you about his passion. In the lead-up to the 2002 Olympics he said that winning the Olympics was his "destiny". And he skated like it was, all season, not losing a single competition IIRC. His "Winter" and "MITIM" were memorable performances, among the greatest performances of all time.

It was Plush's "Carmen" that won the night for me though. In the SP, it was Takeshi Honda's "Don Quiote. There's a reason for my username. :)

I preferred Plush in his earlier days, before he got too cocky (i.e. jumping on the top podium spot at the Vancouver Olympics).

My favorite Plush program ever was his Russian folk dance, the time he completely redid the order of his elements on the fly, with Mishin screaming at him from the boards. A friend of mine from Australia who had never watched skating fell in love with Plush instantly and wanted to see more of him.

And that's why if we are only comparing these three skaters, I choose Alexei Yagudin. For me, Yagudin is/was the best of these three at focusing with emotional intensity on fully developing artistry and expressiveness in his skating. And Yagudin was also a very pure, consistent, and superb technician. With Tatiana Tarasova's help, Yagudin worked hard at trying to become a complete skater. His performances at 2002 Olympics were masterful, both technically and aesthetically.
Well stated.

For me, Hanyu is primarily an extraordinarily gifted technician. Of course, Hanyu moves fluidly and mesmerizingly, but he is also rather gumby-like or loosey-goosey, and he does not exhibit nor has he yet fully developed an aesthetically satisfying body awareness, in terms of line and stretch. Hanyu admittedly has patterned his skating after his idol and muse, Johnny Weir. When he first came on the senior scene, Hanyu did seem to move with a graceful fluidity that was reminiscent of Johnny's movement quality. However, for me, Hanyu never quite pulled me in all the way. I became distracted by his loosey-goosey physicality, his lack of stretch and line, and his tendency early in his career to lose endurance in his fps and make errors. Going to Orser was a tremendous help to Hanyu, as Orser managed to find a way to help Hanyu pace himself and solve his lack of endurance problems (possibly related to his asthma).
I feel much the same, although I've never looked at it quite that way. To me there was something purely organic about Weir's skating that made it very special, and I never saw Hanyu as having that same organic quality. I agree with you that Hanyu is loosey-goosey, but would never had said the same about Weir.

In my view skating just comes easily to Hanyu. He's a natural. I don't think he has to really 'try'. I guess I see him as kind of a machine, just going through the motions of a 'day at the office'. There have been other skaters with that same machine-like quality in terms of technique, but many of those had more emotion than Hanyu. Even Kevin Van Der Perrin - he was woefully lacking in artistry, but I always had the sense that he was trying to express some emotion.

TBH - please don't :angryfire me, this is just my humble opinion - I find Hanyu's skating boring. Except when he makes a mistake and reminds me that he is human after all :scream:.

I've really not that interested in the men's field these days because none of the contenders do much for me. Maybe Chen will grow on me, but at this point in time he is IMO a bit of a machine like Hanyu. I can see that he is really trying artistically. But given that he's studying while training and competing, and has a __ quad advantage, I don't have high hopes for improvement.


I would have to agree though that sometimes there's somewhat of a mechanical quality in the way he performs. He has artistic abilities, but he moves in and out of complete concentration on the expressive aspects of his skating. And Hanyu is not a particularly musical skater, in terms of having a superior ability to interpret music in a way that pulls an audience into the weaving of a story. I think audiences are more pulled into Hanyu's other-worldly elf-like persona, and his amazing jumping ability (the suspended quality of his jumps).
Elf-like is a good descriptor of Hanyu. Agree with you that he is not particularly musical.

Plushenko is Plushenko, and he will likely go down in the history of the sport in a class by himself. No one's passion, determination, and strength of will is greater than Plushenko's, IMHO. As far as artistry, Plush had a lot of capability, but he tended to rely more on charisma, rather than on fully exploring aesthetics. His main focus was upping the technical ante, and utilizing his athleticism and charm, rather than challenging himself with mastering difficult transitions. Plush did not have great stretch or line either, but conversely he did have a catlike, balletic grace.
Again agreed. Especially considering that he came from abject poverty and managed to fight his way to the top of the world.

But, from the interviews I've read/watched, I don't know that I like the person he has become. I get the sense that he is arrogant and feels an entitlement to power and status.
 
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Japanfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
21,078
That's an issue for a scientific discussion. :) It deserves a new thread, doesn't it?
My English isn't perfect, but dictionaries say that word is "magical". :)
The dictionary I normally use as well as Webster do not define charismatic as "magical": https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charismatic

Basically, 'charismatic' means to have charm and be appealing and compelling in drawing a person in to one's personality or work or cause. Usually it refers to a person. Magical something transformative outside of the realm of normal/concrete/practical human experience. It can refer to a person or a process or an action.

So a charismatic person could have magical powers, but charisma does not in itself denote magic.
 

Rina RUS

Well-Known Member
Messages
772
Basically, 'charismatic' means to have charm and be appealing and compelling in drawing a person in to one's personality or work or cause.
I think the meaning of "charismatic" is absolutely the same in English and in my first language. This word is right, when we mean Yagudin, but this word is boring. I would use another word in Russian.

:) The word which I need should mean, that Yagudin can move like a creature from a fairy tale, so that people can't take their eyes off him. A creature with no bones in his body, and even the flaps of his costume can be musical.
Maybe the word "magical" is never used in such cases in English, maybe there is no such a word.

Like a creature from a fairy tale! :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V0UMJwZdaY&t=26s
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,918
... I feel much the same, although I've never looked at it quite that way. To me there was something purely organic about Weir's skating that made it very special, and I never saw Hanyu as having that same organic quality. I agree with you that Hanyu is loosey-goosey, but would never had said the same about Weir.
Right, I agree with you that Johnny's skating is very organic and improvisational, while Hanyu's approach is more studied. I said that Hanyu patterns himself after Johnny, not that he fully manages to be like Johnny. And I never said that Johnny is loosey-goosey in his movement quality, which has to do with loose limbs and lankiness. Johnny was naturally gifted, with languid ease, and fluidity. He exhibited gorgeous posture and effortless rideout on his jump landings (he had aquired his erect posture via equestrian training from a young age). Johnny possessed grace and extension. Hanyu lacks stretch and extension, but at the same time Hanyu is very athletic and technically brilliant, though without paying a great deal of attention to his carriage.

Johnny definitely had an organic quality. Although, he was rather inward emotionally, at the same time he was able to convey something intensely mesmerizing and capture audiences. Hanyu futilely tries to reach this level of emotional resonance, but for me, he never does. And that's partly because Hanyu seems more focused on the technical aspects, with his artistic pretensions fluctating throughout his performances. OTOH, Hanyu certainly conveys a passion to win, but that's not the same as being a true artist.

In my view skating just comes easily to Hanyu. He's a natural. I don't think he has to really 'try'. I guess I see him as kind of a machine, just going through the motions of a 'day at the office'. There have been other skaters with that same machine-like quality in terms of technique, but many of those had more emotion than Hanyu...
Johnny is naturally gifted too. I think Hanyu is athletically and technically gifted, while Johnny is more athletically and artistically gifted. Still nothing figure skaters do is easy. At their best, they are only making it look easy. Hanyu does have to try. It takes great strength of will and enormous desire to achieve what Hanyu did in willing himself to ace the recent Olympics, after he was embarrassed at winning ugly in 2014.

I get your reference to what sometimes seems like an automatic, machine-like quality that comes across in Hanyu's skating, which seems almost unreal when he's in the zone, rapping off what appears to be effortless suspended rotations. But Hanyu is not really mechanical in his skating though. He just seems to flitter in and out of a focus on presentation skills vs pure athleticism. I can sense Hany's desire so I wouldn't say he's unemotional. It's just that he doesn't project well toward the audience because his focus is inward more than expansive.

TBH - please don't :angryfire me, this is just my humble opinion - I find Hanyu's skating boring. Except when he makes a mistake and reminds me that he is human after all :scream:.
I understand what you mean, but Hanyu is not necessarily boring for me, because his jumps are amazing. I just feel detached emotionally from his skating. He doesn't draw me in, but I can admire his talent. What is more irksome is the way judges fawn over Hanyu like he can do no wrong. He's overly gifted with judges scores when he makes mistakes.

I've really not that interested in the men's field these days because none of the contenders do much for me. Maybe Chen will grow on me, but at this point in time he is IMO a bit of a machine like Hanyu. I can see that he is really trying artistically. But given that he's studying while training and competing, and has a __ quad advantage, I don't have high hopes for improvement. Elf-like is a good descriptor of Hanyu. Agree with you that he is not particularly musical.
Nathan Chen is a fascinating skater with a special personality. Nathan has his own unique style. I've always enjoyed his skating. Nathan is far from being a machine. He plays the piano and thus he has a great musical understanding in his skating. He also studied and performed ballet as a child. I don't even see how you can view Nathan's programs this season and not be aware of his creativity and his emotional intensity. Even when Nathan was landing 5 quads in a fp cleanly, he never striked me as robotic. His sp this season is crazy good.

Again agreed. Especially considering that Plushy came from abject poverty and managed to fight his way to the top of the world. But, from the interviews I've read/watched, I don't know that I like the person Plushy has become. I get the sense that he is arrogant and feels an entitlement to power and status.
Sure Plushy has a huge ego, but he also has a self-aware sense of humor. I wouldn't call him arrogant. Strong-willed confidence does not equate to arrogance.
 

TallyT

Active Member
Messages
47
"Nathan is far from being a machine. He plays the piano and thus he has a great musical understanding in his skating. He also studied and performed ballet as a child. I don't even see how you can view Nathan's programs this season and not be aware of his creativity and his emotional intensity. Even when Nathan was landing 5 quads in a fp cleanly, he never striked me as robotic. His sp this season is crazy good."
Nathan has yet to do a single thing that has been interesting enough for me to think much about him (he's not robotic so much as algebraic) but I have to laugh at how his fans go on and on and on about how he must be musical because "but, but, but... piano and ballet lessons!!" as if that proved a thing. When actually, the fact that it does have to be mentioned as proof positive shows rather the opposite.

Thousands of kids study and perform ballet as kids, and many of them still look like they have itching powder in their undies - lessons can help, but having taken them doesn't somehow magically endow you with artistry. I'm not saying he's bad or entertainingly unmusical - that would have been interesting in itself - but from what I've seen he's simply average.
 
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TallyT

Active Member
Messages
47
Sorry for the double post but something amusing that occurred to me ... of these three skaters we're putting up? Plushenko and Yuzuru have a well-known Mututal Admiration Society, Yuzuru's interviews have made it clear how much he looks up to, even reveres Yagudin's skating as well, and watching Yagudin pretty much living every beat of Yuzuru's FS at COR and what he said afterwards...

Wouldn't you just love (well, except for the feuding ones, we pretty much know that) to hear their responses?
 

antmanb

Well-Known Member
Messages
8,803
Hanyu every single time.

I know I've said it before, and as much as I loved Yagudin at the time, his Olympic LP does not stand the test of time at all. IJS has created more complex programmes with more skating content, and when I look back at Yagudin's programmes he barely even holds his arms up in preparation for the jumps, all choreography and performance stops while the jumps get set up and executed (and the fist pumping when done well gets tired too).

The fact that he was the "artist" at the time is probably testament to how bleak the end of the 90s early 00s were in men's skating from an artistic point of view. I say that with 20/20 hindsight, as at the time I thought he was incredibly artistic but now I kind of wonder what I was thinking.
 

Amantide

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,918
It's difficult to compare skaters from different eras. I loved Yagudin and I love Yuzu. Never cared for Plushenko tbh.

Yagudin was a powerful skater, Yuzuru is fluid and elegant. But if I had to make a ranking based on everything; technical skills, artistic qualities and competitions, it would be: Yuzuru, Yagudin, Plushenko.

Having said that, I still prefer Yagudin. What can I say, I'm still stuck with Ilia Kulik and Alexei Yagudin. No male skater, before or after them, has made me feel the way I felt towards these two back then.

Well, there is John Curry and he was simply stunning. I think there is no competition when it comes to the artistic aspects of FS, but I didn't "live" that period so I'm not counting him.
 
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Frau Muller

Everything is beautiful at the ballet!
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11,100
Yagudin & Plush don't carry stuffed bears unless they’re playing with children.
 

Fairuza

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Messages
272
Yagudin & Plush don't carry stuffed bears unless they’re playing with children.
Which supposedly diminishes Yuzu’s skating?
Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer, loved Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfs, you know. How childish of him. Never mind he was the man to decipher the Enigma code...
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,918
Nathan has yet to do a single thing that has been interesting enough for me to think much about him (he's not robotic so much as algebraic) but I have to laugh at how his fans go on and on and on about how he must be musical because "but, but, but... piano and ballet lessons!!" as if that proved a thing. When actually, the fact that it does have to be mentioned as proof positive shows rather the opposite.

Thousands of kids study and perform ballet as kids, and many of them still look like they have itching powder in their undies - lessons can help, but having taken them doesn't somehow magically endow you with artistry. I'm not saying he's bad or entertainingly unmusical - that would have been interesting in itself - but from what I've seen he's simply average.
Hey sure got it, you have an aversion to Nathan Chen and his fans for whatever reason. Plus, huge news flash: Nathan's skating ain't your cup of tea. :COP:

Enjoy your life and have fun watching the skaters you love. :watch:
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
14,918
The fact that he was the "artist" at the time is probably testament to how bleak the end of the 90s early 00s were in men's skating from an artistic point of view.
That may be true in terms of the men's division and artistry during that period. U.S. men such as Rudy Galindo (who wasn't competing eligibly after 1996), Paul Wylie (who left eligible competition after 92 Olympics), and the star-crossed Chris Bowman whose career was winding down by 1994, were excellent artistically. However, U.S. men like Michael Weiss and Timothy Goebel were not known to be great artistically. Of course, Ryan Jahnke, Matt Savoie, and Derrick Delmore are all wonderful artists, but they didn't routinely make the senior World team (Delmore never did, despite winning Jr. Worlds in 1998).

I think Plushenko had some artistic chops that he didn't fully develop because of his major focus on the jumps. Probably the same for Yagudin early on under Mishin, but that changed when Yags began working with TAT. During that period, Sasha Abt was a lovely skater in terms of creative expression, and he was good technically too, but his career was hampered by injuries.

Hanyu's jumps are simply out-of-this-world when he's in the zone. Hanyu is a magical technician, but I don't get much from him artistically. For me, what sets Yagudin apart vs Plushy, is I prefer Yags' jump technique over Plushy's, and most of all, Yags truly wished to dedicate himself to exploring who he was creatively. Yags surely is and was not the best artist in the world, but his 2002 Olympic performances are very memorable technically and aesthetically. And that's because of his purposeful passion and dedication to bringing more expressiveness to his skating.
 

Ohyes

Well-Known Member
Messages
311
Yagudin & Plush don't carry stuffed bears unless they’re playing with children.
How small minded of you. (but this is fsuniverse, so not surprised). People can like what they like regardless of age as long as it's not hurting anyone else. My aunt is a successful lawyer who loves collecting horse figurines and toys does that diminish her career in any way?
 

TallyT

Active Member
Messages
47
Yagudin & Plush don't carry stuffed bears unless they’re playing with children.
Interesting that neither of them are petty enough to sneer at the champion who does, though... and that Yuzuru has the strength and honesty to do, wear and skate exactly as he wants to without kowtowing to what critics think seemly.
 

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