Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Fan Page Evgeni Plushenko

Costumes ('96-2010)
Evgeni Plushenko is a Russian figure skater. He's a 4-time Olympic medalist, a 3-time World champion, a 7-time European champion, a 4-time Grand Prix Final champion, and a 10-time Russian Nat'l champion. Plushenko's 4 Olympic medals tied Sweden's Gillis Grafstr√∂m's record for most OM's in figure skating. - - - - - - - - - ( Comments? ) - - - - - -
 
Dark Eyes - Gypsy Dance
per Wiki: ...At the '99 NHK Trophy, he became the 1st skater to perform a 4T–3T–2Lo combo in comp. He has since landed the combo 26 times. Plushenko's also the 1st to land 4T–3T–3Lo & 3A-1/2Lo-3F in comp. He 1st landed the combo at the '02 Cup of Russia and has since landed it 4 times.

It's est. that he has landed a total of 100 quads in comp. He's worked on & landed 4Lo & 4Lz in practice, but has never completed in comp. He's received a total of 75, 6.0's before the new COP's judging system was introduced. Under the Code of Points system, he's set 13 world rec. scores (5 SP, 4 Free Skate, & 4 combined total).



Fave Performances: 2004 LP - Tribute to Nijinsky

2000 SP - Schindler's List** = LP - Dark Eyes
'01 SP - Bolero = LP - Once Upon A X In Amer. >>>
'03 SP - Adagio = LP - St. Petersburg 300
'06 SP - Tosca = LP - The Godfather

**Schindlers List Music, Adagio SP really...


Current News: Medvedeva  wins CS Ondrej Nepela TrophyJapan, COR, & NHK GP so far! - - 11/12/17

31 comments:

  1. I wonder how Mishin feels about letting Yagudin go when ultimatum thrown down; "him or me?" Tatiana acquired a ready made champion, but her choreography took Alexei to a new level! Overall, his artistry was significantly more substantial than Evgeni; just didn't have the durability in the end! Plushenko eclipsed him by so much after all is said and done! Will 4 medals be possible for someone soon since addition of team competition? Chan maybe? One of the Russian girls?

    ***V&T could very well win 2 medals in '18 and tie him up, which would be sort of unfortunate b/c it took him so long to get here. - Mishin loved better Plushy b/c he knows their personalities. Evgeni is far better person as Yagudin. Mishin and Plushy are like father and son. And Mishin more highly valued Plushy's skills as Yagudin's. Maybe you like more Yag's style.
    ---

    I can't see him making '18. It would be sad if someone went and did in just 2 Olympics what it took Plushy 4 to achieve. ...if Evgeni does come back this season, it's not Kovtun he should fear. - Yes, Lipnitskaya has chance to achieve it. If she will compete in '18, '22, & '26. If the Russian team will be so strong she will have more medals, but Plushy has 3 individual medals, so go Julia.***

    Just b/c I said Alexei probably had more content in his programs? I lost respect for Alexei and his behavior long ago! He's no fave of mines, but I can be an honest person and know he deserved his Olympic medal and Worlds titles w/o being a 'homer!" I still shed tears for a few of Plushy's programs; Adagio (sp), St.Ptr300, and Tribute To Nijinski!

    ***I agree with your picks, except for the Olympic Men's '02 event; if Plushenko had skated clean he would've beat Yaugudin.***

    I agree about Plushy! He had Yagudin's number by then, even if he was more artistic, Evgeni's effortless jumps always seemed to put him on top; esp. in the SP! If not for Plushenko, I don't think Alexei would have broken down so soon! He was being pushed to put more technical content in his programs due to Evgeni's 2 quads! He was intimidating the 1st year out there at 15! I loved the Jarre program off "Chronology!" Went out and bought 4 or 5 of his disks, but none lived up to that one; maybe due to the lack of Evgeni interpreting the music through jumps and spins! IIRC, he was leading the SP at Worlds earlier that year! Got his foot caught on his quad landing, stubbornly went after the rink for another one falling before salvaging bronze! That would have been so embarrassing to Yagudin and Eldridge at the time; one coming and the other going!

    ***Todd was a very complete skater, but I wouldn't call him "very powerful" or with "big jumps," "Huge" triple axel. He did everything well, but he was lacking in a 'wow' factor- (e.g.) Stojko's quad combos, which only a few skaters could challenge, Kulik's perfect jumps & speed, Petrenko's big 3-axel and power, Yagudin's emotion and power, etc. Some skaters were less complete than Todd, but their 'wow' factors often carried them above him. He had to skate clean and hope that others made mistakes in order to win. That happened just once in '96 and he was able to beat Kulik for the world title. If he made a mistake, he was pretty much out of contention unless others had a meltdown.***

    That was Eldridge's problem; a lack of wow! I seem to remember when he qualified by winning '02 Nat'ls, he went back to those basics, underwhelmed fans with older routine, but impressed the judges enough to overlook the real chance we had in scoring well internationally; Goebel! They allowed favorable memories and reputation to skew their scores and slap Tim in the face who was almost flawless with several QUADS landed! It was great he overcame that "slight" and medaled at the Olympics and Worlds! Where'd Eldridge place; 10th or 11th in SLC with Stojko?

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  2. I've been meaning to ask if people agree or disagree with Sasha Cohen winning Silver in '06, Torino Games? She fell on her 2 first elements just like Hanyu, but then skated very well to salvage her efforts to take runner-up honors!

    ***I thought she did. Irina also made 2 major errors- a fall and doubling a major triple, and her overall performance was incredibly subpar in everyway, even her jumps were shaky and way below her usual standards and reflected in the GOE. Fumie's skate did not merit a medal, even with Sasha and Irina's mistakes, maybe 3rd place in the long program over Irina at best but still not by enough for a medal. Nobody else is even in the conversation. Sasha skated exquisitely after the 2 mistakes, and in that years shitfest was worthy of the silver.
    ---

    Yeah you can make a valid point that Sasha didn't deserve a silver medal for that skate but then you'd be hard pressed to come up with someone who should have beaten her overall. Her marks were pretty fair. After Sasha left the kiss and cry, she told John Nicks that she wasn't going to medal so that she did was a surprise to her too. I don't think anyone expected the other skaters to be so underwhelming too.***

    Regardless, I think she's probably the most gifted skater in memory! I think she sabotaged herself by over-training, trying to perfect the quad and ended up hurting her overall career; IMO! She was never guilty of under-rotating jumps; usually for going a bit too far which resulted in falls! I think she's one of only a handful of skaters who can stroke around the ice and and not even jump, but still get a lot of enjoyment watching them! She really was the complete package with her spins, spirals, and jumps! That exhibition of "Romeo & Juliet" is still so memorable to me; the split jumps and spirals were breathtaking! She only had a few jumps, but the rest could have been the only parts seen and you'd still have to cheer her!

    ***I always thought the quad was more rooted in a publicity tactic she and Nicks cooked up than anything else. Cohen entered the '02 season as a huge question mark. Kwan had all the publicity that year as she left Carroll and was going for her last real shot at Olympic gold, in her home country no less. Hughes had emerged as a major contender w/ that World Bronze and was a heavy fave to win a medal in SLC, despite how some want to re-spin it. ...At the Masters, even in fall '01, she wasn't even close to landing it in practices, but she tried it anyway and got a lot of press for it. She landed a quad in the warmup at Skate America a month later, but it was more of a fluke than anything. The quad got Cohen the publicity she needed and then once she skated well at nat'ls and made the Olympic team, we never heard much talk of the quad again, despite Nicks boasting all season long that she would try it and land it in SLC. Sure.
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    Tim landed only 1 of his quads at those Nat'ls. He in fact didn't skate that well at all. It shouldn't have even been close since Tim, w/o at least 2 quads kind of stinks frankly. He has to be one of the worst basic skaters to ever win world medals, but when he landed his numerous quads it was impossible to not reward.***

    Well they found a way in '02 at Nat'ls; that's for sure! I loved that TIM was able to secure Bronze at SLC and Silver at Worlds in '02 and '03 IIRC! I seem to picture him next to Yagudin in '02 and Plushy in '03! Where was Eldridge; nowhere to be found? So much for trusting him more!

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  3. ***IIRC, Sasha landed only 3 triples in the GWG long, many of them being 2-footed. Fumie skated very well, attempting a 3-3 though 2-footing the 2nd half and landing 5 triples total. Fumie's overall placement was accurate considering how she skated.***

    Loved that competition and the results! Stayed up all night to get the results and to happily proclaim Slutskaya and Plushenko the champion! The faves were obviously Kwan and Yagudin respectively; but both failed miserably! MK and AY were at the same stage of mental and physical burnout IMO! Both were looking over their shoulders; Alexei even crashed into the wall trying to complete his 3A/3T combo in the SP! How he retained Bronze is still unfathomable to me; crashed and burned on each jump element during "Winter!" Everyone was using their new short programs; Irina "Serenade" and Plushy a Michael Jackson medley! I couldn't have been happier! BTW, I'm still trying to figure out why the Russians got 4 female entries; Slutz, Butyr., Volch., and Sok.? I keep asking and looking, but it's still a mystery!

    ***I remember Plushenko showing up as a kid and landing absolutely unbelievable jumps. I always preferred him to Yagudin and thought he had the potential to be the best male figure skater in history. ...I actually think Mishin has gone senile and Plushenko is being pushed to continue skating by him and his awful wife. He needs to run away from those 2.***

    I'll have to take your word for that! I wasn't aware Evgeni was being manipulated or encouraged to stay "in the game" past his prime! So far he's won top honors, so I'm not sure about your "laughingstock" comment!

    ***If you read the comments on some of the Russian sites, they are certainly less than kind and I think the general view of the public is that he should retire. Having said that, I admire him for his incredible physical and mental strength - to be able to continue for so many years despite injuries. But sometimes enough is enough. I hope his more recent performances won't mar the memories of Plushenko's divine skates in his younger years.
    ---

    I think Plushy is more than capable of making his own decisions. Yes, Yana is a strong woman; I have mixed feelings about her myself, but I do believe they are equal partners. I don't think she could persuade him to do anything he doesn't want to do, nor do I think she would try to do so if it meant sacrificing his physical health. Maybe I'm wrong and she's a complete shrew, but I'd like to think he chose better than that, particularly the 2nd time around.***

    Normally I'm all for the old guard stepping down, but when the new bloods aren't getting the job done, you bring back the vets again and again; Slutskaya in '06, Kwan after '03, Bonaly in '98, Witt in '94 according to some around here, and of course Plushenko this year!

    ***Is Johnny in demand by tours? Is Evan actively looking to tour? - Good question. I am not really sure on either of those points, but I do know immediately after Vancouver Johnny was in demand by almost all the big European and Asian tours, while Evan's only big offer was from Stars on Ice (and he didnt even last long there, although largely by choice). ...If anything he probably burnt a lot of bridges w/ his faux comeback to never happen.***

    Preach! Justice served to someone who's lost passion for the sport! What a waste!

    ***I think Evan, like Kwan, was more interested in competition. Yes he did take advantage of his short-term fame like participating in DWTS, but it seems like he's not very interested in the skating world as much anymore. Johnny, meanwhile, seemed more into the applause, fame, and publicity. He also had a comeback, but it didn't seem very genuine while Lysacek's comeback may have been a little delusional and far-fetched and self-serving (and self-preserving of his reputation), but I bet if he could have he would have come back to compete.***

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  4. ***if someone loves Lambiel, that is cool, but while I like him I personally find him one of the most overrated skaters ever. He is such a weak jumper, practically none are stable. Beyond that though his basic skating leaves alot to be desired. Even his spins are overrated and the scores bear that out. He won both his World titles w/o the best skater in the world at the time attending; Plushenko who's career is highly overrated too.***

    Oh my; blasphemy! Dick Buttons must have been Stephane's PR person and perpetrated the fraud of his legendary great spins! As much as I loved Plushy and picked him to be greater than Yagudin, his overall skating was weak! He put so much pressure on his peers though! He forced them all into errors to keep up w/ him b/c of the tech side of the sport! I posted before that I think Evgeni personally ran Alexei out of skating by forcing more tech content in his programs! Normally Alexei could win ANY title w/o a quad; his artistic scores so surpassed everyone else in his era! Unfortunately for him, a skinny little Russian kid was nipping at his heels starting from the beginning of his reign in '98 Worlds! W/ the most reliable quad of all time, usually adding 2 to his LP, it forced Alexei to add a 2nd Quad and it slowly broke him down!

    Even at his best, Alexei's quad was all about his strength and not the technique! He saved many, going rather low on the landings, and those hips were destroyed over the years! I was truly shocked when he showed up at Skate America in '02 only to suddenly retire after recovering so well to take all the major titles; 2002 Euro, GPF, Olympics, & Worlds! I thought Alexei was done after losing his World title the year before in '01! Something clicked at the GP Finale, Alexei snatched the Gold, and never looked back! I have no idea what was going on w/ Evgeni; that strange program at the Finale from Cirque was disturbingly bad and came out of nowhere! He hurridly switched to Carmen for the Olympics and I just hated watching the finish of that 2001-'02 season being a Plushenko fanatic! After Alexei left, he was w/o peer for years, losing only a couple titles through a technicality at GPF and one really bad skate at Euro! Then his hips and back started going, but he held on to finish w/ 2 Olympic Gold medals and 2 Silvers! Who can catch him even w/ the new team event?

    ***Evan was at the same point as Kwan in 2009-'10 by 2013-'14. The non existent quad jump of his big wins was now a staple w/ the top guys attempting 3 or 4 per competition. There was at least a half dozen men who could often score 20+ points higher in a competition than he had ever done internationally. He had lingering injuries, an old body, and hadn't made decent attempts at a quad jump competitively since '07. He can't even compete with someone like Chan in PCS or other elements in addition to the quad. However unlike Kwan, he was not smart enough to recognize this and plodded on with a comeback which even had it carried off would have almost certainly seen him make a bit of a fool of himself. Don't return from a serious injury too soon and aggravate the same injury! ...Sorry but in retrospect that's how I see his so called comeback.
    ---

    If Johnny showed up relatively recently to competitions, skated in competitions, and performed better than Jeremy Abbott did at the Olympics while Evan was a no show, I have to conclude that Johnny's comeback was more genuine than Evan's and Johnny could have completed. - Plushenko's basic skating and posture are in fact excellent and much better than someone like Lambiel. Some aspects of his artistry arent as good as Lambiel, but his basics are far superior.***

    Johnny must feel like Surya Bonaly; totally unappreciated and looked over! One year Weir won the lone medal for US World team and the next year they allowed him to miss it due to an injury; sending some "also-rans" in his stead! They held up Kerrigan in '94 without competing; that's for sure!

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  5. ***Johnny actually competed at '09 Nat'ls and came 5th. If he was really physically unable to skate he should have WD and requested a bye. I know some have said he asked a higher up and was told he wouldnt get the bye, but even if he didnt get it, at least he would get more support from people than as it was, and truly exposed the USFSA bias against him for what it was. The USFSA never really loved Weir and w/ Abbott and Evan both going to worlds already, they didn't really need him anyway, and Mroz beating Evan for the silver and even beating Abbott in the LP complicated things. W/ Johnny skating and coming 5th there wasn't really much reason to give him a bye anymore, esp. when they didn't want to in the 1st place.
    ---

    ...However as I mentioned there was the 2011-'12 season where there was no injury stopping Evan, but USFSA not paying him enough? He said so himself. I also find the self preserving of his reputation part interesting. ...In fact it probably would have been better self preservation of his reputation to have never planned a comeback in the first place, esp. in hindsight. He would have been remembered to the general U.S public as the guy who won Olympic, worlds, dominated about a year, and retired on top, then went on to DWTS and headlined SOI for years.
    ---

    Mao could win the next 4 Worlds and Olympics in '20 and she would still never be in the league of Yu Na, or even Kwan for that matter. It was long ago determined she's not even the best skater of her own era since when she and her main rival are both around; almost never wins. She wins her titles when Yu Na is either not there or messes up badly. Unlike Yu Na and even Michelle who dominated their eras, She can't even beat Miki Ando or Carolina Kostner when they are healthy and in top form.

    One thing that sets her so far below Yu Na or Michelle is consistency. Michelle finished top 3 at every event for about 9 years. Yu Na has never not medaled in any skating competition her whole career. Mao is like a yo yo; Gold, 6th, 7th, Bronze, silver, 6th, 8th, Gold. ...None of her 3 World titles were won w/ a flawless performance, unlike Yu Na and Michelle who won practically all their big titles and even lost some with flawless outings. You can talk about Mao's beautiful artistry, her great spins and spirals, her huge jumps, but it doesn't matter when she always messes up, which she does even in victory.
    ---

    The Kim fans may be the looniest fans in the world, but Kwan fans take sensitivity to the highest level. Why must her more sensitive fans make such hyperbolic comments like that when someone dares to not give a tongue bath for her bad performances? Kwan sucked in the SP. Many of her required elements were shaky, sloppy and she skated like a zombie. Seriously at her biased fan who judged that performance a 5.9 on the 2nd mark...***

    Who you talking about? I lived and died watching Surya Bonaly doing her thing in her era! Talk about over-skating, looking a bit old at times; no one worked harder at their craft! Loved her significant finish at 2000 GWG over Yuka Sato and other legends! It was a great finish using that Cuor Senza Sangue program by Emma Shapplin!

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  6. ***Mao never had a chance against Yuna in 2010 in Vancouver regardless if she was clean or not. Yuna was on a different level then any other skater at the time.
    ---

    Of course, despite more difficult jumps, better spins/spirals and steps it wasn't enough thanks to the magical formula of goe and pcs, we recently got the pleasure to rediscover what kind of miracle this combination can make, what a privilege it is to be in the judges favor. Keep this in mind, the best score does not always mean the best skate or best skater, but rather the most favoured/chosen one. Anyone, any chosen skater with decent skills can suddenly become invincible once the judges want them to.***

    I'm a huge Plushenko fan, but talk about favorable judging! He was horrible in Vancouver and he still made it close; just 1.5 points behind Lysacek! If he had added another double axel he still could have won! I lost respect for the system before they went to this new scoring charade! I thought we were supposed to get away from shady circumstances like this, but it still persists! HOW?

    ***B/c the system gives them the opportunity to do what they want and ignore the guidlines, and by the end of the day they can go home anonymous w/o giving any explanation. There is too much subjectivity in the scoring esp. when it comes to pcs. At least the judges s/b held accountable for their biased marks. If the marks they gave were fair and just they wouldn't need to be anonymous. But I believe sometimes things have to get really bad (like Vancouver & Sochi) before things get better and changes are made; at least I hope so.
    ---

    Alexei Urmanov was my teenage love (in my head). He was beautiful and his 1994 long programme was so elegant. Stojko looked like a truck driver in comparison. Alexei didn't live up to his potential.***

    I loved that era of skating with Alexei; probably underachieved, but in skating, many don't! I taped all his performances after the Olympics until he went out with that last injury in '97 before Nagano! He was in 1st place at Worlds after the short like Plushenko years later, and had to withdraw! People really resented Alexei beating Elvis; even w/o 2 triple axels once or twice! Elvis was like my fave Surya; all about the jumps!

    ***I loved Alexei Urmanov too. Hamilton didn't and could not hide his disdain for his skating.***

    Unfortuntely it was skaters like Hamilton that ran me away from skating for such a time; esp. during his pro years! I was appalled by the flagrant overscoring of this puffed up, ego on skates! He overcompensates by lauding other skaters, but I don't know how he could accept some of the awards and wins over superior skaters again and again! It was quite nauseating to see happen when he was flipping all over the ice, obvious ill, and someone like Petrenko that loaded up his performance was dismissed with gratuitous "10's" given to Hamilton!

    ***...Many great skaters would be happy just to have those career ending results of one last OG. i.e. Kurt Browning or Brian Joubert.***

    Add Todd Eldridge ...and you have skaters like Timothy Goebel with his Bronze in SLC and 2 Silvers at Worlds in '02 & '03! The resentment has to be there w/ the other skaters and their fans! Surya Bonaly is my underachiever of all time; her lack of a performance and the narrow-mindedness of judges!

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  7. ***Tonya didn't waste her talent and potential, USFSA did - I think that Tonya might have been somewhat forgiven for her huge career mistakes if she had ever, at ANY point in time, taken responsibility for her horrible choices. ...She's lied so much that she can't even follow the trail of lies herself. It's sad, ...but she might not be the laughing stock, joke, pariah...that she is now.***

    I'm one of those people who hold the USFSA largely to blame for not taking more of an interest in Tonya and maybe guiding her since her mother was a train wreck! Over the years I've found them to be selective and punishing when they want to be! I still can't get over them leaving Johnny off the World Team when he was the lone winner of a medal the previous year! It was obvious they had a serious problem with him being "so open" about his life and wouldn't make accommodations for him; maybe Eldridge or Weiss! How'd that work out for them?

    ***Interesting that both the skaters you name as examples of being held back by the USFSA are skaters that won Nat'l Chps and int'l-level medals; who also went to the Olympics. If the USFSA was trying to hold these 2 skaters down, they didn't do a very good job of it/***

    You obvious forgot, the USFSA did try to kick Tonya off the '94 World team! She threatened to sue and they backed down!

    ***Johnny actually competed at '09 Nat'ls and came in 5th. If he was really physically unable to skate he should have WD and requested a bye. I know some have said he asked a higher up and was told he wouldnt get the bye, but even if he didn't get it, at least he would get more support from people than as it was, and truly exposed the USFSA bias against him for what it was. By actually competing and doing poorly he didn't give himself much case. The USFSA never really loved Weir & w/ Abbott and Evan both going to Worlds already, they didnt really need him anyway. Mroz beating Evan for the silver and even beating Abbott in the LP complicated things.

    Nancy was by far the top U.S women in '94. Even w/ her out of medals placement at the '93 Worlds vs Johnny's medal placement at the '08 Worlds, she had more recent credentials than he (3 World & Olympic medals in the previous 3 yrs, winning the pre Olympic test event w/ nearly all contenders). It was a no brainer to send the U.S gold medal hope rather than accept their best finish in Lillehammer by either Harding or Kwan being about 8th place. Plus that she was attacked at their event, and USFSA would have faced a huge lawsuit if they had not sent her, and one which Nancy would have easily won.***

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  8. ***The '04 & '06 Worlds were Sasha`s to win from the start, regardless what anyone else did. She blew both. The '06 Olympics might not have been Sasha`s to win entirely, but w/ the performances Slutskaya and Arakawa gave, & Asada not there, they would have been hers easily if she skated even her Nat'ls performances which wasnt flawless. I do think she had chances at the big titles in '02 & '03 too; in '02 w/ help of others' mistakes of course.***

    It's unfortunate Sasha never really put it all together, but IMO, she's still the most gifted of her era; a true ballerina! Oksana had that distinction, but it was more myth than anything! She also had her moments, but they were few and far between! Sasha may have squeaked out a couple more titles if she didn't have a reputation for being unable to put together 2 great performances! They couldn't give her the benefit of the doubt until '06 silver in Turin! I thought she was done after those first 2 falls, but she pulled it together to salvage something!

    ***She should've become a ballerina then b/c skating isn't ballet, and her skating skills were quite weak until the last years of her competitive career - - Most unorthodox music to win an int'l competition***

    OTTOMH, I can only think of Surya Bonaly's gypsy performance of '94-'95 season! It was a bit frantic at times, but she won her last European title and salvaged silver at Worlds behind LuLu and ahead of Bobek! Using Cirque du Soleil type music placed her amongst the rest of the French contingent that performed for the audience, not the judges! I fell in love w/ Evgeni using some Jean Michel Jarre's New Age efforts; Chronologie medley in '98 & '99! It was odd, innovative, and worked well w/ his young age!

    ***Probably since there isn't much more to say about B & S and their competitive situation than has already been said in this thread.***

    They were a lovely couple, but they took advantage of a weak era IMO! They're the level of Anissina/Peizerat of France; perpetual 3rd placers at World events even though they won GOLD! I've seen stronger skating out of other pairs; B & S were soft, though elegant! True enough I never got into (pairs and dance) enough, so my knowledge and image of them from so long ago is being stretched to the limit! I could be wrong; set me straight!

    ***"Agreed, and it also shows best career isn't the same as best skater anyway. ...Technically Witt wasn't even a top 5 skater of her own era, and even her artistry wasn't that good in a traditional sense, but she won her titles through amazing charisma, competitive nerve, and star factor. Against Kim and Kwan who were just as competitive as her though; she would be buried."***

    Insightful; thank you!

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  9. It was Surya that sparked my interest to stay with figure skating! The previous era ran me off; the egos, judging controversies, & allowing pro to re-enter the amateur ranks! With the whack felt and heard around the world, it was a great period to watch with Urmanov, Yagudin, Plushenko, Goebel, Slutskaya, Lipinksi, Bonaly, Lambiel, and Sasha Cohen!

    ***No mention of Tonya Harding at '91 Skate America? She landed the first ever 3A combo by a lady in the SP while skating to LaTour's, "People Are Still Having Sex." Then she landed another 3A in the free skate to a "medley" of "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," Gato Barbieri's version of "Europa" by Santana, then "Sleeping Bag" by ZZ Top. And although not int'l, how about her other equally wacky and exciting winning melange of the Batman soundtrack, Send in the Clowns, and Wild Thang by Tone Loc?***

    I had to order that video back in 2000, but it was to see Bonaly who performed "Sleeping Beauty!" Harding's 3A a lot more powerful than Ito's! I just hate that Mao went out missing every one of them this past season! Didn't she see that even if she hits 3 of them, the judges weren't ready to give her gold if Kim stood up? Silly gamble; sorta like Sasha with the quad at Nat'ls years ago!

    ***Can you really compare Asada who landed 33 triple axels in competition w/ Cohen who barely landed a quad during practice, but acted as if she had a consistent one as a press hype game? With Kim doing gigantic 3-3's, the 3A was important to Mao to distinguish herself and not necessarily just in terms of points, but her ultimate legacy.
    ---

    ...I would rather give that honor to ladies that won European title 5-6 times, like Witt and Slutskaya. I will have a tough time placing Bonaly ahead of Kostner though, despite Surya's well deserved multiple European titles.***

    It was a weak era in the early 90's unfortunately w/ only Oksana doing something during that period; winning Worlds in '93 before OG in Lillehammer in '94! Surya's last win in '95 at Europeans had no one close to touching her with 3/3's and other combos other women could only dream of! That sort of jumping is now commonplace and about time too!

    ***Surya actually had decent competition in '93-95. She had to beat Baiul to win '93 & '94 Europeans, no easy feat. She also faced Markova and Butyrskaya in '94-95 who by then were very strong. I would never pick her just b/c she wasnt an appealing skater to a skating purist, despite her deserved success.***

    Markova and Butyrskaya had problems with nerves and their jumping was inferior to Surya; sorry! Bonaly had a 3 Lutz/3T that ended it from the first element! lol!

    ***Plushenko - has lived and breathed skating his entire life, incredibly charismatic, can pull off every style from wacky to high drama to flat-out weird, almost untouchable for most of his career. There is something extra-special about him and his devotion to his sport that puts him on another level from virtually anyone else.

    Johnny Weir - marches to his own drummer, not afraid to be feminine and outspoken and a Russophile and whatever else he wants to be, no matter how much heat he takes for it. A true uncompromising artist.

    Stephane Lambiel - always gorgeous to watch, endlessly creative.

    Yuzuru Hanyu - a true fighting spirit with endless potential.

    Daisuke - another real artist on ice, always compelling.***

    I second these male faves! As for the ladies:

    Sasha Cohen - more ballerina than any skater before her.

    Surya Bonaly - The best and most innovative jumper in her prime.

    Naomi Nari Nam - gone too soon, going for broke as a child and breaking down.

    Irina Slutskaya - Supplanted Surya as the dominant jumper in '96 and kept Kwan in check later.

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  10. ***I would say '10 Olympics. Chan was put under immense pressure there as a medal hopeful and I don't think he actually ever fully recovered from that experience. The pressure would have abated after the Olympics, but begun to build again as '14 approached. Prior to the Olympics he seemed almost obsessed. Ultimately, Canada did him no favors with its expectation that he would be the 'first Canadian to ever win Olympic Gold'.***

    If US TV can't get through the telecast without mentioning "The Curse;" I can only imagine how suffocating it must be for him north of the border! I'd have more sympathy for Patrick if he hadn't been gifted such ridiculously high scores in the past! I was sort of appalled how he was allowed to flop all over the ice in a GP event, only to lose by only the 3 points deducted for the falls; jumps and footwork! I've seen other skaters have the smallest of errors practically disqualified w/ ruinous scores while he was propped up all too often on horrendous performances!

    ***--- Perhaps the people who should be polled are coaches, judges, other top skaters concerning over scoring. IMO S & P were extremely talented. But back to B&S -- they were even more talented.***

    Common sense should tell you when there are abuses with performances a lot less deserving of high scores! Happens all the time! On another thread I noted a GP event a couple years ago; probably Skate Canada where Patrick was flopping all over the ice in his jumps and footwork, but only lost by the 3 points deducted for the falls! My mouth is still agape over that one! Alexei Yagudin was going up against Evgeni in the 2001 GWG's down in Australia! He knew he needed every element in his SP, "Winter," and forced the combination with NO ROOM for it; slamming into the wall of his 3A/3T! He popped his other jumps, but somehow still received the bronze medal behind Plushenko and Michael Weiss! Another jaw-dropper!
    ____

    ***...If player A has a 5x2 H2H against player B, who has a 4X1 H2H against player C, who by its turn has a 5x1 H2H against player A, who is the "better?" I know there's a lot of things to take in to account... that is precisely the point. Sometimes objective analysis is not enough. If #'s (and who won, who lost) could tell the whole story, why would we debate?***

    I think I touched on the subject of H2H and matchups a while back! As much as we put Laver on a pedestal, he was owned by Lew Hoad; at one time 0-8! The only reason we don't know more about the guy is he just missed the USO win in the '59 final to complete his Grand Slam and went off to war or something! In turn Laver owned Ashe even when the old man was past it and only giving brief glimpses of his legendary play by the mid '70's! Going back to that era, even Rosewall wouldn't succumb to old age taking match after match against a seasoned and talented Ilie Nastase! I think Ilie only won once that I saw and it was on clay! Moving ahead 20 years, Sampras was being perceived as the best ever for a while; even w/o a FO victory; 1 semi and 2 quarters IIRC! He was still vulnerable to a couple players you would think couldn't compete! One of them was Richard Krajicek of the Netherlands! Every time I saw Pete go up against Richard, they just got into this power tennis game where the Euro pretty much just blew him off the court; including his win over Pete at Wimbledon in '96! These matches were inexplicable then and they still are!

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  11. ***Cohen is a better skater than Tara easily. Tara was just the better competitor. Had Cohen's Tara's competitive nerve she would probably have won almost every world and Olympic title btw 2002 - '06. Tara was even able to beat Michelle Kwan many times by being the stronger competitor, when Michelle is one of the strongest competitors in history which just shows how tough she is, in stark contrast to nervy Sasha Splat.***

    I compare Tara w/ Plushenko when their main rivals were #1 in the judges' hearts & minds; Kwan and Yagudin respectively! The thing is TL and EP were superior jumpers and when they hit all their elements, it put amazing pressure on the leaders! At a couple major events, it made all the difference! Technically each only had one year of superior performances over their top rivals; Tara in '97 through '98 Olympics and Evgeny 2000-01 Worlds! After that Tara retired and Alexei broke down and left amateur skating! Loved Evgeny, but Alexei ate his lunch artistically as evidenced by his lone win over Plushenko at 2000 Japan Int'l where artistic prowess wins the day w/ limited jumping! JMHO and interpretation of what I remember of that era!

    ***Baiul probably wouldnt have ever had the technical content to compete with Kwan or Lipinski, unless she got held up for being an Olympic Champion. 1995 she would have had a shot at the World title, but not sure after that.***

    Where's the "LIKE" option on this site? MK was being crowned before the lighting of the torch at Nagana! I was just going to bed at 5:30 am or so when I heard the result on the radio! I didn't particularly care for Tara's skating, but anyone that took Michelle down a peg was alright w/ me; incl. Irina Slutskaya & Sarah Hughes (twice)!

    ***Don't forget SLC either.***

    They may have tried at SLC, but Irina was the real fave by then! She had beaten Michelle again and again including '01 Masters, GWG's, and GP final w/ just 3 triples landed! All of Michelle's buds were backstage w/ varying kinds of looks and reactions to that one! It was hilarious considering the gifts she's received over the years! MK was actually getting embarrassed; at the Masters finally firing Frank Carroll! She singled or doubled every jump! Her confidence had to be shaken!

    ***If I right remember Plushy beat Yagudin everywhere in 2000 except in WCH. Which Japanese Int'l was it? Yagudin has around 20 perfect 6.0 scores. Plushenko, even w/o the 6.0 in Rus Nat, is around 40. He has around 70 6.0s in total. ...Who has more artistry? That is so subjective. But the facts are facts. Who can explain why these facts aren't well known informations on FSU?***

    That WC was the year before I mentioned Plushy's dominance! The Japan Open I'm thinking of had Alexei performing "Gladiator!" Racking up gratuitous 6.0 scores doesn't impress me; never has! It's all subjective and takes into consideration where the skater performed; early or late! Yagudin skating last at Olympics in SLC allowed the judges to go nuts w/ ridiculously high scores when no one was close to beating him! "Winter" and "MITIM" were classic and I appr. Alexei's efforts, but he came on late to take those last 4 major gold medals when it appeared Evgeny had had his # the previous season; '01 GPF, '02 Europeans, SLC Olympics & '02 Worlds!

    ***I don't remember they didn't meet w/ each other in Japan Open I think. They met in GPF and Plushenko beat Yagudin. They skated Sp and 2 LPs. Yagudin's programs were "Lawrence of Arabia & Gladiator while Plushenko's programs were Gipsy Dance & Once Upon A Time In America."***

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  12. ***...I voted for Todd Eldredge. Was robbed of the '95 & '97 World titles, and the '96 a & '97 GPF titles.***

    Really? Well that will make up for the gift titles at Nat'ls a couple times at least! That was a colossal joke him winning over Goebel in '02 going back to old standard w/ his scratch spin ruling the day! Idiotic! At least Goebel finished a respectable 3rd at SLC and got silver at '02 & "03 Worlds! Eldridge was down in the bottom w/ Stojko around 10th at SLC!

    ***Wow! You really know how to insult a very talented skater. While I wish Todd hadn't had that fall in the sp in '02 SLC, he finished in 6th place after a very strong free skate. I'll go out on a limb & say that had he not had that fall, he might have finished on the Olympic podium, or even closer to it. The quad is not everything! What I thought was ludicrous was the tie in the SP @ 2002 US Nat'ls. Thank goodness Todd won the title! I have nothing against Timmy, and felt he skated very well @ the Olympics, deserving that bronze medal, but let's not denigrate Todd and other skaters who may not have had a totally consistent quad.
    ---

    I dont think Todd could have medaled in SLC w/ Tim's 3 quads. Plushenko had a subpar competition, but was predictably held up, and Yagudin was sublime. Fourth place was probably the best he could have done there. His medal chances were in Albertville and Nagano. He could have won silver skating his best at either of those events.

    Tim did not skate well at the 2002 Nat'ls, fell in the SP and landed only 1 quad. Without his quads he can't hope to beat skaters like Eldredge who blow him away in basic skating. To have given him the title there would have been comedic.***

    How soon we forget the heart, passion, and will of Philippe Candeloro who took the 2 bronzes medals Eldridge probably should have won in '94 & '98! So much for basic skating skills! I doubt Todd will ever live that down! It was always something with him! I loved it that Timmy got that bronze after the fix at Nat'ls just 2 months prior! The tie was the most obnoxious thing our federation could have done! Ridiculous! As far as I was concerned the same thing happened w/ Michael Weiss, holding him up when he just didn't have it! I guess all countries do it at times, but it still doesn't make it right!

    ***. Eldredge was not even at the '94 Olympics. How could Candelero take the bronze from him there, was it a ghost. ...Even Philippe's mediocre basic skating is better than Goebel's. He has the worst basic skating, speed, stroking, and posture of a world medalist in history, but thankfully for him he could land 2 or 3 quads every program. When he didn't (1 or less) he was f-ed, and at Nat'ls, he only landed 1 and Todd skated well ...***

    I'm well aware Eldridge missed '94; sick I guess! But as I said, there was always something going on w/ Todd that he never fulfilled the promise that his fans and commentators lauded over everyone else during his era! He was the male equivalent of Kwan except she actually won a few biggies; aided by the judges of course!

    ***If Todd were really that hyped, I would agree with you it would be crazy, but I never noticed the massive hype you did. He was never potrayed as the male Kwan. Even in the U.S, Stojko had far more support than him and had "wuz robbed" in presentation scores chants all the time, even while consistently beating Todd in all competitions. ...Kulik and other Russians also got more love and support than Todd from the U.S media and often fans.

    Todd was not this big hyped up skater you potray him as and I don't recall him ever being gifted at Nat'ls. He certainly wasn't in '02 over 1 quad Goebel and his far weaker presentation. ...He was no Kwan like USFSA pet, nor did he deserve to be of course.***

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  13. ***If you followed skating, I'm sure you knew what the reaction to some of Chan's wins in '12 & '13 were like. The reaction to his win at Worlds in '13 was ugly. After that it was a foregone conclusion his PCS gap would be cut substantially to prevent any chance of that happening again. It turned out to lead to him losing to a skater at the Olympics who had 2 falls and lost despite staying on his feet in both programs and getting PCS barely above a skater w/ a juniorish program; still lacking style who had falls.
    ---

    This skater w/ juniorish program at least stands up after 1st mistakes and sell the rest of the program and had breathtaking SP, while Chan was looking terribly in FS- many mistakes on jumps which affected totally his presentation that was shaky for me w/ hesitations.***

    Chan's wild, carefree type of skating finally caught up with him! Talk about a skater being held up for ages; mon dieu! Patrick is well trained, fluid, with immense confidence, but he can get sloppy at the worst possible times! I keep thinking of a couple instances where he crashed and burned, but still won or barely lost by the points deducted for falls! What a joke; finally did him in at Sochi! This is a very weak era in male skating and he should have won comfortably! If Plushy can keep coming back and be in contention, you have to think it's very weak! I'm a huge Evgeni fan; going back to when he was 15, but Vancouver and Sochi was a travesty; even with the new scoring system! It's just so hard to watch at times! I have my opinions, but they're being fed by intermittent viewing and keeping up with what's what! W/o a more major contract to telecast the skating, few will really understand how things run and go on!

    ***Heck, it's P Chan's fault for not taking the gold which was technically given to him. ...And heck, he made 5 mistakes in both long and short programs at Sochi, while his opponent made technically 2, 3 at most in his if you are being slicker. Don't get me wrong, I like P Chan very much, but it's his fault, not the system's fault in this case.
    ---

    I don’t want to be negative - but it feels like Plushenko has destroyed men’s figure skating… His passion, pain, grace, strength, weird masculine femininity, fighting spirit… He was unique. And he makes all the other skaters look boring…"***

    True enough! Been a fan since his intro at GPF in '97! Loved that new age Jarre medley from Chronologie album! Went back to check his junior skate winning gold medal on You-Tube! He's always been that adorable! He was a little Prince winning '01 WC over Yagudin who shouldn't have even placed, much less take silver! His SP was the only performance that was great; Rachmaninoff piece! He crashed and burned in the qualifier and LP! Hard to be shocked with past history showing little integrity when it comes to scoring in this sport! What a joke!

    ***Slutskaya by far was the best European Champion. Kostner competed against Slute at Europeans for about 3-4 seasons, and each time Irina skated away w/ the title. Matter of fact, Kostner was not a competition Slutskaya worried too much about.***

    There was so much pressure put on her around Turin, Carolina didn't come into her own until the last several years! She was an "also ran" until other skaters left the sport like Slutskaya, Butyurskaya, & Sasha Cohen!

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  14. ***Kostner is a better skater than Irina. Irina benefited in her time from weak competition at both the European and World level; often being overscored as well.***

    If Irina was such a poor skater, why did Michelle lose to her so many times? What does that say about MK after all is said and done?

    ***I never said Michelle was some goddess did I? IMO both Michelle and Irina are overrated, skating in an era with no depth which allowed their relatively easy dominance for years, and both benefiting from some serious genorosity from the judges too. Michelle probably even more than Irina, but Irina was scored on the high side more often than not as well, esp. when she didnt skate her best and the judges seemingly ignored her problems and the flaws of her skating. Remember her 2nd last European title in '05 when she landed only 3 triples. If you want to argue her win had merits even w/ that skate then fine, but that only proves my other point of her competition mostly being very weak too, esp. at Europeans.***

    Oh I think scoring has been a major joke for decades! I sorta remember a GPF where Irina performed 3 triples to Kwan's 5 and all she could do was make faces with her commiserates! It was hilarious considering previous generous scoring for her in the past!

    ***Todd deserved the '95, '96, '97, '98, and '01 World titles. In '98, Yagudin should have been 3rd in the long behind Zagorodniu. In '97 he should have won by winning the SP, even though Stojko deserved the long. In '01 I would have him winning over Plushenko who had no artistry at all back then, an awful LP, and did only 1 quad. Yagudin's "Gladiator" was a masterpierce and he would blow everyone away w/ it if it were clean, but he had his problems. In '98, he should have won the Olympic silver even with his mistakes. He deserved 1st place in the short and 2nd or 3rd in the long.***

    Seek serious help babe! Yagudin was hurt or injured, was flopping all over the place and only had one good performance; that being his SP! He was unable to do what he wanted and he shouldn't have even medaled after a disastrous "Qualifying!" I won't even dignify the rest as being rational; sorry!

    ***I know Yagudin was gifted at the '01 Worlds. That's what I said. I also said his 'Gladiator' was a masterpiece and it is too bad he was hurt allowing Plushenko's thrashy junk program he would have killed otherwise to win; and even then I would have given Todd, even w/o the quad the win over Plushenko. Plushenko's program was junk aside from jumps, and he only did 1 quad too. It is just a shame Yagudin who had a stunning program that was 3 times better than Plushenko, nothing but jumps and crossover routines w/ vile and tacky posing and hip thrusting was hurt and missed about half his jumps as a result. Yes, I know you still have to do the jumps too and unfortunately Yagudin didn't (except SP) and yes he was lucky to even come 2nd. Should have been 3rd behind Eldredge or even 4th behind Goebel.***

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  15. So by your thinking, at the GWG's in '01, it shb won by Yagudin as well; his masterpieces being "Winter" for the SP and equally brilliant "MITIM" for the long! There's just one problem, he also crashed and burned there; in the short colliding with the wall after his combo in the SP, then systematically singling and doubling the remaining jumps! Again he was gifted a medal; bronze behind Michael Weiss! That was a colossal joke and the judges shb ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately they have none!

    ***I didn't say Yagudin should have beaten Plushenko at those particular events given the performances. I'm saying it's unfortunate Yagudin missed so many jumps that allowed Plushenko w/ his garbage empty choreography and jumps-only based performances to win. That said I do think Plushenko is highly overmarked, except for '03-'05 when he skated well, he really had the whole package going. I think Yagudin should have at least a 1 mistake advantage, if not more, and it was crazy Plushenko won an event like the 2000 GPF where Yagudin had only 1 mistake in his LP. I think a skater like Eldredge skating like he did at the '01 Worlds could have beaten him, even w/o a quad, esp/ w/ Plushenko doing only 1 that night and having probably his worst choreographed program ever that year for his LP.***

    No, you have a problem making logical sense! You have too many "what if" and "buts" instead of stating the facts at the time! Your circular logic is making my head swim! BTW, that '01 program was part MK and "Once Upon A Time in America!" I loved it; regardless of what others think of it!

    ***As much as I liked Alexei's "Gladiator" program, he should not have finished 2nd @ '01 Worlds. I realize he was injured and was flopping all over the place during the free skate. I don't question his '02 OGM @ all (and "Winter" was a wonderful SP and I really liked "The Man in the Iron Mask"), but Todd deserved no less than silver @ those Worlds. It's a travesty that he was awarded the bronze, but he took it all in stride, and was thrilled to have a podium finish.
    ---

    The judges viewed Plushenko and Yagudin as gods by then though and nobody could challenge them unless they landed only 2 or 3 triples in the judges eyes. ...I remember Skate America that season Yagudin landing only 3 triples and losing by only one judge to Goebel who had a clean 3 quad and 7 triple performance.***

    That Skate America judging should have been investigated with the officials being suspended! ALexei was a mess, even fell during a spiral! It was absolutely ridiculous that Goebel landed pretty much everything while Yagudin was totally out of it, but was still very close to winning anyway! I might have stopped watching the sport for a few years if not for Evgeny! I could "cold turkey" unless there's a skater I really need to see! Well Alexei put it all together his last season by the GPF, taking it, the Olympics, Euro, and Worlds! I thought he was done the year before! He went out on a high note; except trying to perform at Skate America where he retired for good from Am Ranks with serious hip injury!

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  16. ***Chan excepted, which men benefited from this anti-Russian conspiracy during the years of Yagudin/Plushenko dominance? If you want to bring up Lysacek, Buttle, Stoijko and Perhaps Goebel, I don't think you have much of a case; esp. given how many times they were beaten by Russian men. I can't stand Lysacek, but didn't see any strength in the argument that he should have won the '10 Olympics.***

    I've been a huge fan of Evgeny's since his junior days, collecting most of his performances from tv and online, but he was lucky to get silver IMO! It was pretty much a travesty to me that he was only a double axel from winning Vancouver! His performance was shaky; like his landings! True enough he hit his quad and Lysacek didn't even attempt one, but I was very disappointed in his landings and thought he was fortunate in salvaging runner-up honors! It was made worse when Evgeny and Mishin ranted for the next couple days about the quad situation! I guess I'll be called a traitor, but that's the memory I have of the event! I haven't pulled the tape out since recording it 4 years ago! - BTW, I can't stand Lysacek either; which is another reason not to watch the tape again! He's a self-entitled little punk who all too often had something snide to say about Weir; his major rival! "What are the differences in you 2," a reporter my ask! Evan might have to throw shade with "let me count the ways!" He's a jerk and I don't miss him! He's typical of someone who can't back it up; won't even try! Gutless after all these years as well!

    ***I agree and also was on the Plushy bandwagon. I loved his '02 Carmen - it's one of my favorites. ...Evan got filthy rich in the process. Life is so not fair.***

    Sorry to say I couldn't stand the Carmen number! Mishin had taken Yagudin to a World Bronze medal win w/ it in '97! To this day I still don't understand why Plushy went to it! At the '01 GPF, he was performing a Cirque du Soleil # and I was looking forward to him doing it again at the '02 Olympics! I should have known something was going on when Plushy didn't show up to Europeans allowing time to train w/ Bizet! He used Carmen through the exhibition season and I didn't collect those; ex: Hershey's Kisses Figure Skating Challenge! Funny I was a fan of Yagudin before he started belittling Evgeny! Why he gave Mishin an ultimatum I'll never understand! I guess it suited him to take on Tatiana as his new coach! They had a shaky start period where Plushy owned him for a couple years, but it worked out in the end w/ Alexei taking all the major titles in '01-02 season including the GPF, Euros, Olympics and Worlds! After '01 GWG's in Australia, I thought Yagudin was done! What went on there? His confidence had to be shot! Crashing into the wall and doubling jumps had to be terribly embarrassing!

    ***Plushenko's Carmen was much better than Yagudin's. The reason he switched to it was the judges did not give him the win with Cirque at the GPF, so he knew he couldn't win the OGM w/ it. I am amazed that he was able to perform Carmen so well after making a change that late in the season.***

    He didn't win w/ Carmen either; mistake in both of his major quad combos! Plushy could win w/ any kind of music if he completed his jumps, pressuring Alexei to be perfect even w/ such great programs! I used to see and hear Alexei would glance over at Tatiana with a 1 or 2 finger motion! If she looked downcast and put up 2 fingers, that meant Evgeny went first and hit 2 quads! Yagudin was the only skater up to then to be so successful w/ that jump; including Stojko, but he needed 2 against Plushenko and it played on his mind I thought! Alexei could beat anyone else w/o even doing a quad, his programs were so complete, but Plushy's tech. prowess truly worked on him for a couple years w/ the animus getting worse all the time!

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  17. ***...I really liked Yagudin, but many of his competitive decisions were heavily calculated.
    ---

    I'm no fan of the 3 skaters you mentioned, but I don't agree with the comment. It's just the way the chips fell for them. About competing at Worlds in an Olympic year, it's up to the skater how he/she feels after winning an OGM- whether to compete at worlds or not.***

    Shocking! Thanks for the info! I had a real problem with how Alexei was treating his teammate Evgeny! To me he had no real reason to be jealous! He had all the ability in the world and the judges loved him! He sabotaged himself in a lot of ways, but he wound up surviving '02 and taking all the major titles! I sometimes wonder did he leave knowing Evgeny was coming into his own and would displace him permanently!

    ***In some ways, I think Yagudin almost lucked into the '02 Olympic win. Before his fans lose their shit, he 100% deserved his win and he 100% delivered. Yet I was a huge Yagudin fan at the time who felt very pessimistic about his chances in SLC before the SP even though he was on a big winning streak. But Yagudin wasn't the overwhelming favorite at the start of the season. He was coming off a horrible worlds, disappointing previous season and Plushenko seemed to have the support from the judges and I felt certain he would peak at the right time. Sure Yagudin had the better programs and I VASTLY preferred him to Plushenko, but I'm not sure the judges felt the same way. Plushenko falling in the short was the best thing to happen to Yagudin in both the short and long program. I'm not so sure he'd have performed as well in the long had he not had the peace of mind that Plushenko winning overall was an uphill battle.
    ---

    I agree that G/P were overmarked in '94 Olympics, '97 Worlds, and maybe in '98 Olympics (but the last case is not so obvious). I must admit I don't remember 1995 Worlds that well. I have always thought they had no competition then.***

    I have t/b honest; didn't care for the Olympics allowing past champions who had turned pro to come back! Skaters like Boitano & Witt were unfairly taking up spots in a 'supposed' amateur event and had little chance of winning in '94! They were "done" in so many ways and I didn't mind the judges using discretion to undercut other skaters in pairs and dance events! My position softened with Plushenko because the Russian men were terribly inadequate and didn't have much of a chance to even be in the top 10! He may have to come back again 4 yrs!

    ***Chan, Lambiel, Takahashi, Lysacek, whom had the best career?

    1. Chan : 3 WC golds - total 5 WC medals - Olympics silver - 2 GPF golds - 7 WR settings
    2. Lysacek : 1 WC gold - total 3 WC medals - Olympics gold - 1 GPF gold - 0 WR setting
    3. Lambiel : 2 WC golds - total 3 WC medals - Olympics silver - 2 GPF golds - 0 WR setting
    4. Takahashi : 1 WC gold - total 3 WC medals - Olympics bronze - 1 GPF gold - 3 WR settings

    * Plushenko : 3 WC golds - total 5 WC medals - Olympics gold - 2 Olympics silvers - 4 GPF golds - 13 WR settings wow.
    ---

    Lysacek vs Lambiel is an interesting comparision. Is the difference of an Olympic gold to silver more or less than the difference of a Worlds gold to bronze? If it is the same, I guess you have to go with Lambiel due to the extra GPF.

    Takahashi is unique too. Does the WR set push him above Lambiel and Lysacek despite his lesser medals/titles? Is that even an achievement? Chan is the easy winner.
    ---

    I would pick Lambiel 2nd barely over Evan. His extra World title, extra GP Final title, Olympic silver, 7 Nat'l titles vs Evan's 2, & 3 European silvers which Evan would not have managed are enough to overcome Evan's Olympic gold. Takahashi is 4th and last.***

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  18. ***...The Tara attention and media hype in the early going came entirely from the press and her camp. It had nothing to do w/ the USFSA. They were always down on Harding, but they never worshipped her like Kwan, Yamaguchi, Kerrigan, or Cohen. They can't as much as they wish they could. They tried to ban Brennan, but she came right back in their faces and made them look like fools.***

    Well you're partially right! Sasha was never a darling of the USFSA; esp. when Tarasova was her coach! As for Brennan, she was on the "outs" b/c of her book which exposed and embarrassed the sport w/ how many deaths had occurred over the years due to AIDS! That's what I heard back then! She was persona non gratis for a while, but made it back into their good graces later!

    ***Well it seemed the U.S judges would never let Sasha beat a clean Kwan at Nat'ls unless she were perfect, and since we all know the USFSA is 95% of what the U.S judges will do, I guess you are right she isn't really a big fed. fave like Kwan, Yamaguchi, or Kerrigan either.

    I don't know why Brennan was on the outs, but in the end all she proved is Brennan > USFSA in the sport. They couldn't keep her out, the whole skating community got behind Brennan and dumped on the USFSA, and they were forced to reinstate her before she missed anything, and then she mocked them in her book about it. It made them look like fools in the end.
    ---

    I would say Kim Yuna is more dominant than Kwan since even if you roughly est. she skated only 6 seasons (she skated 7 tech., but none of the last 3 were a whole season), she had a lower ratio of losses than Michelle. I recall her losing 2 events in '06-'07, only 1 in '07-'08, only 1 in '08-'09, only 1 in '09-'10, and then 2 in the remaining years. Michelle had 2 in '95-'96, 3 in '96-'97, 1 in '97-'98, 1 in '98-'99, 1 in '99-'00, 3 in '00-'01, 5 in '01-'02, 0 in '02-'03. I am not even counting her post or pre-prime years. Kwan averaged 2 per season, and Kim averaged only 1.1 per season, even not counting Kim's final 3 seasons as full seasons.

    From fall '07 to summer '10 esp., it seemed like Kim barely lost, and it was a huge upset taking a lot of mistakes or a bad injury for her to lose. The only time Kwan felt dominant was the year after Tara retired and before Irina emerged as a threat, and the 95-96 season. I guess you could add the '02-'03 season. She was undefeated despite that she barely even competed, and didnt face Sasha when she was skating really well during the GP season, but only Sasha-Splat Nat'ls and Worlds. ...In between that, she had long periods she was heavily pressed by either Lipinski, Slutskaya, or a variety of skaters. Averaging about 1 fewer loss per season when you are comparing 2 skaters over a long 6-7 year period, and owning all your biggest rivals while Kwan was usually losing to Lipinski and Slutskaya in their primes.

    ITA Kwan had better longevity, but longevity and dominance are not the same thing. They are a seperate category. I'm cutting the assessment of Kwan's career and dominance off when she was younger than Kim is now, and discounting her early years to the point she was almost the age Kim was finally fully age eligible, so whether Kim would have remained dominant in the future is moot as if we are cutting evaluating Kwan's dominance and win record off at age 22 to be as favorable and fair as possible to her.

    As for the GP, the seeding system means you almost never meet your main rivals until the Final. So unless you're frequently winning the GPF vs all your main competition, plus regularly winning the regular GP, U R not dominating the period. ...For instance in the '99-'03 period, Kwan lost all 5 GP meetings with Slutskaya, 3 at the GPF, and their only 2 regular GP meetings.***

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  19. ***Best skaters of last 15 years:

    Men- Plushenko, Yagudin, Chan, Takahashi, Lambiel
    Ladies- Kwan, Asada, Kim, Slutskaya, Arakawa
    Pairs- Berezhnaya-Sikharulidze, Totmianina-Marinin, Volosozhar-Trankov, Shen & Zhao, Savchenko-Szolkowy
    Ice dance- David & White, Virtue & Moir, Anissina-Peizerat, Navka-Kostomarov, Denkova-Staviyski
    ---

    Btw, these are in no particular order...

    Pairs:
    Shen/Zhao
    Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze
    Sale/Pelletier
    Savchenko/Szolkowy
    Volosozhar/Trankov

    Dance:
    Virtue/Moir
    Davis/White
    Anissina/Peizerat
    Denkova/Staviski
    Bourne/Kraatz

    One might question me leaving N/K off this list, but they were one of the most boring Olympic champion teams ever and I think D/S and B/K were better overall. I wish there was another spot so I could include D/V.

    Men:
    Plushenko
    Yagudin
    Hanyu
    Chan
    Takahashi

    Ladies:
    Kim
    Asada
    Slutskaya
    Kwan
    Kostner.. almost said Arakawa, but went with CK in the end.***

    Wow! So you say? lol! Poor Bourne and Kraatz just never caught a break! They weren't highly regarded and only challenged for bronze most of the time! On one occasion, they were about to win a World bronze and on a lift at the end of the performance, were unbalanced and crashed to the ice! Totally unforgettable! - Funny to see Kwan below Asada and Slutskaya! I think Plushenko had the better career, but even I have to admit Yagudin was the complete package and wiped out Evgeny in better times out there! His animus towards his rival ate him up, so it's all on him!

    ***I had forgotten 2000 NHK though, thanks for reminding me. Butyrskaya bombed the qualifying round at the '01 Worlds so no chance of a clean competition, and doubling the 2nd triple lutz is a major mistake in those days of ladies skating as well.***

    If I remember NHK for that year, Maria skated the best she possibly could; even clicking on 2 3-Lutzes! Peter C. actually thought she had won! Of course the judging had already been decided and she wound up with Silver behind Irina! To myself I said, "cry me a river!" She had been gifted a couple Gold medals in other GP events; esp. in Paris where Jenny Kirk was underscored being a newbie from the US!

    ***Jenny Kirk didn't even finish 2nd to Maria at that event though. She was 3rd behind Volchkova who also had mistakes. Int'l judges were never that impressed with Jenny. She skated too small for their liking I guess. - Too small and her jumping technique was strange, although her LP in Paris was very impressive for such a young skater!***

    What bothered me just as much about her getting only a bronze, the program ended with a 3-lutz! Who does that to a little girl? The coach and her mom should be dissected and eviscerated! It was bad enough she was skating an adult program, but to finish like that had to be stressful to her little body!

    ***Maybe she wondered the same thing since a little over a year later the Scotvolds were gone.***

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  20. ***The '04 Worlds, '06 Olympics, '06 Worlds were all there for the taking for Sasha, but she faltered badly and took silver each time. The '02 Olympics, '02 Worlds, '03 Worlds, gold not certain, but a medal was for sure there for the taking, and she might have had a chance at gold who knows, but she blew all those as well, finishing 4th in each when she should have at least been on the podium in all of them skating decently.

    On the other hand I feel sorry for Sasha at times since it seems all the focus is on her wasted potential and not living up to the U.S hype which might have been overly ambitious at times anyway, and not on the great things she did achieve- an Olympic medal, many World medals, many GP wins. It seems she is treated like a failure where most w/ similar credentials would be raved as a huge success. Someone like Suguri is probably way happier w/ her career than Sasha, even though she achieved significantly less. Butyrskaya achieved about similar (Maria got the World title, Sasha got the Olympic medal that Maria failed to manage), and is also viewed as a great success story in sharp contrast to the relative failure / dissapointment Sasha is. I don't think she achieved her potential, but she wasn't a total failure or waste either.***

    Sasha should still be set with an Olympic silver medal! Heaven knows Liz Manley was awful, got fat, and was still skating in shows and tv events! Sasha may have underachieved, but she's still the most graceful skater on the ice since Fleming and Lynn; a true ballerina out there!

    ***...Anyway, for Kostner, earning a medal in that field (where she was practically tied with Kim and Sotnikova after the SP) was a huge pressure cooker for her. Winning a medal was not guaranteed nor was her skating well, so even though she was only at best a medal favorite, she still did not have any room for error and knew it was all in her hands.***

    She played it very conservatively; really pulling back on the jumps I'm accustomed to see her doing! I just wonder how she earned Bronze with such a watered down program? I'm happy enough for her, but I still question the result; esp. at the top! Kim is no fave of mines, but she didn't appear to make any mistakes, and still lost by a lot!

    ***Kostner's Technical Element Score was less than a point lower than Yuna Kim's and Gracie Gold and more than 2 pts higher than Lipnitskaya. Combine that with her PCS which was more than 5 points higher than Gold's and more than 3 points higher than Lipniskaya, that's the way the math added up. Plus, don't forget that SP where Kostner blew all of the other bronze medal spoilers out of the water (and was in a virtual tie with Kim and Sotnikova).***

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  21. ***...You should add Mao to the mix of "what if a clean performance" as well. I wonder if the Russians would have the colossal ignorance exceeding what they already showed to dare to still try and give Adelina and Julia the gold if Mao skated a clean short and long w/ a triple axel and 8 triples. The biggest beneficiary of the gift of Julias problems was Adelina. Adelina was only artificially anointed after Julia fell in the SP since a Russian had to win the gold no matter what. So that said, had Julia done 2 clean programs, I highly doubt Adelina would have even medaled, even clean, esp. w/ Kim and Kostner skating so well.***

    As well as Mao could perform, she had little credibility by the time she got to Sochi! She hadn't landed one of those triple axels! It made no sense for her to even try it, knocking her out of contention right away! She saw what good it did her 4 years before, landing all 3 in her short and long programs and she still was miles away from a superior performance of Yuna! Stupid! She should have shelved that jump and skated to at least a bronze medal, but she was obviously stubborn and it cost her! She salvaged her season by taking Worlds the next month! I have no idea how she did; advertising of the event is almost nonexistent these days with no repeat on tv!

    ***I think both Slutskaya and Kwan were better competitors than Kostner, though. I love Kostner, but frankly her nerves couldn't compete with these 2 ladies.***

    You got it; nerves, nerves, nerves! She scaled back her program just to stay on her feet and she succeeded in taking the bronze at the Olympics!

    ***Nah, I love Kostner but it's true Kwan and Slutskaya were fiercer competitors.
    ---

    Best use of their Arms - Jeffrey Buttle. Such a beautiful skater.***

    For men, I'd have to go back to Alexei Urmanov; the best florid arms ever! He's the only guy that can actually play a swan using the music of "Swan Lake!' Go check him out at '95 Europeans! If not for arriving late and having a horrible short program, he would have won! A couple years later, the same thing happened, but he actually came back from 6th place, jumping over the rest of the field to win in '97!

    ***Speaking of Swan Lake, it instantly makes me think of Rudy Galindo. Beautiful posture, ballettic arm positions.

    - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lH9mg_ZneA - ***

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  22. ***Sasha would have won Nat'ls in '03, '04, & '05 if she skated clean. In '03 she made too many mistakes to even beat Sarah who was a shadow of the skater she was the year before. Going into the competition she was the new GPF champion and dominated her GP events. She was totally the favorite entering that competition. In '04 she received a 6.0 for a program w/ a fall and another small error, before Michelle skated.
    ---

    If they were willing to give her the '03 title over Michelle, they would have put her over a very subpar Sarah even w/ her falls and mistakes. Add to that the '03 Worlds qualifying round where Sasha skated clean with 7 triples, Michelle had only 6 and stumbled, and Michelle was 1st and Sasha 3rd in their pool. Those 2 things combined make it clear the judges would not favor a perfect Sasha over a good Michelle in '03. Sasha had a better shot of the 2000 title than the '03 one.
    ---

    Well, that's already good to be a good 2nd tie kind of skater. My problem w/ Sasha is that I can't forget her flaws when I watch her. Fumie is more of an all around skater, nothing spectacular, but nothing particularly shocking.
    ---

    What would Olympic podiums from '92-2014 been if everyone skated cleanly? Ladies 2002 Gold- Slutskaya, Silver- Kwan, Bronze- Cohen. Too much is made about Kwan's SP win. I thought Irina's SP in SLC was only about 60% as good as her shorts at the GPF, Worlds, Goodwill Games, and she had 2 obvious errors for me- ...She still lost the short by only .1 and would have easily won it with any of her much better shorts that season. Kwan's triple flip btw was NOT 2-footed, definitely not.

    Ladies 2006 Gold- Slutskaya, Silver- Shiz, Bronze- Cohen Slutskaya was the sentimental fave in her last Olympics and in Europe. She was never losing if she skated clean (by clean I mean w/o the really shaky landings she had on a few jumps and missed levels, besides the obvious mistakes) even if Shizuka and Cohen were sublime. Shizuka's 3-3s would carry her past Cohen and even if they didn't her jump GOE would do the trick.

    Men 2010 Gold- Lambiel, Takahashi, or Abbott, Silver- Lambiel, Takahashi, Abbott, or Chan, Bronze- Lambiel, Takahashi, Abbott, Chan, or Joubert. As you can see not really sure how this would go. Neither Lysacek or Plushenko would even medal though.

    Men 2014 Gold- Hanyu, Silver- Fernandez, Bronze- Chan

    Ladies '94 Gold- Baiul or Sato, Silver- Baiul, Sato, Kerrigan, or Bonaly, Bronze- Baiul, Sato, Kerrigan, Bonaly, or Chouinard. Another 1 I'm not sure of. Dont think Chen would have ever medaled w/ the others skating cleanly though since the judges always underrated her then.

    Ladies '98 Gold- Lipinski, Silver- Kwan, Bronze- Butyrskaya
    ---

    Ladies:

    1992- Kristi wins, Midori 2nd, Tonya 3rd
    1994- Yuka wins, Lu 2nd, Surya 3rd
    1998- Tara wins, Michelle 2nd, Maria 3rd
    2002- Irina wins, Michelle 2nd, Maria 3rd
    2006- Irina wins, Shizuka 2nd, Sasha 3rd
    2010- Yu Na wins, Mao 2nd, Joannie 3rd
    2014- Adelina wins, Yu Na 2nd, Mao or Julia 3rd

    Those are the placements if everyone skates perfectly.

    1992- Victor wins, Kurt 2nd, Petr 3rd
    1994- Viktor wins, Kurt 2nd, Scott 3rd
    1998- Ilia wins, Todd 2nd, Alexei 3rd
    2002- Evgeny wins, Alexei 2nd, Tim 3rd
    2006- Evgeny wins, Stephane 2nd, Jeff 3rd
    2010- Brian wins, Stephane 2nd, Daisuke 3rd
    2014- Hanyu wins, Fernandez 2nd, Patrick 3rd

    Again with everyone perfect these are placements and medals.***

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  23. ***Why Have a Short Program At All? Under the current competition format, it is unclear to me why we need to have a SP in addition to a free skate. Sure, the short program rules mandate skaters to perform certain jumps, and for senior/junior men and junior ladies they are now required to perform triple jumps in the SP, b/c fewer rotations will result in no credit. However, the types of technical elements required in the SP are no different from those "recommended" for a "well-balanced" free skate. Who's going to leave out anything from the "well-balanced" element list unless they absolutely cannot do it? Free skate is not really free, and the short programs simply have fewer jumps and fewer spins.I think it makes no sense that we get two programs that are very very similar and measure almost exactly the same thing (the only difference they really measure is stamina). Nowadays the SP is just half of a free skate.***

    They've already gotten rid of compulsory figures; now you want to eliminate the SP! So I guess you wouldn't mind some slug having the skate of their life on that one night and taking a major event? I think they should go as far as the old format of the GP Final with 3 performance; 1 SP and 2 LP! That weeds out the riff raff and makes sure the best skater wins!

    ***Which two skaters fan base have the most heated rivalry? Seeing all the sparring wars btw the various fan bases makes me wonder which 2 fan bases have the most intense rivalry. Certainly there are many candidates for that.***

    I went w/ Plushenko & Yagudin, but since I just started posting here, I'm just going by the visceral antagonism that went on when both were competing! I place more blame on Alexei since he wanted Mishin to himself which wasn't practical! He had tons of other students; he just wanted Evgeny gone more than anything! His animus hurt his career along w/ the pressure Plushenko put on him physically and mentally due to his quad being superior; doing 2 in each program! Alexei could beat everyone else w/o even 1, but w/ Evgeny around, he couldn't win the major events! It took its toll which is why he had to retire from the amateur ranks after the 2001-02 season! To this day, he probably can't stand Plushenko!

    ***ITA, it seems that even Plushenko's much longer career still not enough to ease his fans' mind. No matter how much shit you shed on this board, you can't change the fact that Yagudin's early retirement was b/c of his congenital joint defect. And you can't change the fact that Plushenko couldn't out jump Yagudin, even though he was younger, was trained by Alexei Mishin, and worked much more on jumps. While Yagudin was coached by Tarasova, wasn't ambitious about jumps, has a congenital joint defect, he still out jumped Plushenko easily. Out jump Yagudin and you win. LOL!***

    Even if Yagudin is thought of as the better skater, I'll take Plushenko's longevity w/ 4 Olympics medals; 2 Gold, 2 Silver! We'll see who's more highly regarded after time goes by! Numbers will sooth Plushenko's historic achievement!

    ***2 Gold LOL, then why don't you wait a little bit longer? ...Right now people are still remembering how they win their titles; how's their programs? LOL***

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  24. ***Top 5 from the past 50 years:

    Denise Biellmann
    Carolina Kostner
    Gabby Seyfert
    Irina Slutskaya
    Katarina Witt ***

    I know it's just your opinion, but to totally dismiss a 5 time champion shows a little...what should I say? I'll leave it alone! If Surya isn't on the list, something's wrong with you!

    ***Well all those skaters won World titles. All except Biellmann won Olympic medals, and Biellmann won the LP at the Olympics. As I am sure you know, Bonaly never won either a World title or Olympic medal.***

    Well we all know judging is subjective and she was hosed more often than not; regardless if you cared for her skating or not! I have more regard for her career than most since I've seen too many injustices to count of other skaters to ignore!

    ***Yu Na and Mao hate each other. They make ugly faces at each other all the time as shown on Youtube videos. Irina and Michelle were more friendly, but their fans are even worse than Yu Na and Mao fans, esp. Michelle fans.
    ---

    A simple poke around google images will find several photos of Yuna and Mao smiling and taking pictures together at off-ice events. They have never been anything but respectful of each other as worthy adversaries.***

    When it came to "high emotions," I can only come up w/ 2 couples; Lysacek/Weir and Plushenko/Yagudin! There was a lot of animus between those 2 twins of powers! lol!

    ***...Some portray Weir as this great talent (exaggerated IMO) and Lysacek as just this hard working overachiever. Yet Evan has the far better career and often crushed Weir even when he was working hard too and skating his best in competition. In actuality I think the 2 are probably about the same level in talent, just like Plushenko and Yagudin are, but a much lower base and level of talent than Yags and Plushy is all.
    ---

    By the summer of '94, there was already serious backlash against Oksana Baiul -- chronically two-footed jumps, choreography that featured excessive standing in place, weak combo jumps, no sit spins, etc. The ISU was using her Olympic-winning free skate as the defining example of poor choreography in instructional seminars to judges, and later put out an instructional video that ripped the program to shreds. Had Baiul continued, I expect she would've been put under a microscope and "torn down," much the way Sarah Hughes was.Plus, Baiul was erratic at best. It's nothing short of a miracle that her 2 good competitions were a World Championships and an Olympics. Two good competitions in her entire career. There's no track record of sustained performance at any level. She's more like Naomi Nari Nam than she is Sarah Hughes or Tara Lipinski in that regard.***

    She had a great performance going on at 2000 GWG's, but messed it up due to her ego! She actually had a perfect triple lutz that made Nancy Kerrigan's jaw drop! She was doing well, but doubled her salchow! At the end of the performance, she retried it with no speed and fell; IDIOT! That put her back under Kerrigan and above Dorothy Hamill in her score when she had it w/ her other triples!

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  25. ***...Wouldn't the total quads of the 3 medalist be 18; 2 each in the SP & 4 each in the LP? There were quads attempted @ '07, '08, & '09 so I'm not sure how the medalists themselves landed 18 more when their total is 18...***

    Men's skating has come a long way in such a short X! Seems like it was only yesterday Bronze Medal winner Timothy Goebel put 3 quads in his LP in '02! These guys today are blowing him & the early KING of quads Elvis Stojko off the map! I only saw Plushenko attempt the 4Lutz once @ GP of Russia! A US skater actually completed it sev. yrs ago IIRC; sans Michael Weiss' 2-footed attempts! Now it's almost routine; seeing the + of 4FLip & 4Loop! What's happened to the ladies? They had a couple attempting the 3 Axle & 4 Salchow, but lit'l of that going on now since Asada retired! The arm over the head by Medvedeva m/b tough, but after a while gets "old!"

    ***Looks like Hanyu has found the formula to peak @ Worlds; skate just okay for the 1st part of the yr, then rev it up by the X of 4CC & Worlds.***

    I was afraid the same would happen to our own Nathan Chen after brilliant performances w/ X Quads @ the 2 preceding events; US Nat'ls & The 4 CC! Expectations had t/b huge & having problems w/ the skates is predictable! I'm surprised there aren't more occasions of skaters being hindered since those boots & blades take so much punishment in comparison to past gens where it was a big deal to complete = 1 Quad! The torque involved in getting up there into the air then the subsequent landings take a toll on equipment & body I'm sure!

    ***Another 3A in practice by Mirai Nagasu.***

    OMG, early success just does lit'l to nothing for some skaters it seems! I remember when she won Nat'ls, but was too young to go for Worlds to compete for medal like Kimmie Meissner in '06! When Mirai won in '08, Kimmie wouldn't have = qualified for Worlds falling to 7th @ Nat'ls IIRC! 3 of the top 7 skaters were too young! What happened to all those girls?

    ***In '08 Meissner got named b/c Katrina Hacker was a "nobody" in the minds of USFS compared to her w/ no Senior Int'l medals. And what happened to those girls? Growth spurts, being taught lousy jump technique to just get the triples around & then getting hammered when the IJS took over. In the case of Flatt, simply just not being a great package. - And Ash Wagner (her 1st Sr. ap. too) went to Jr. Worlds b/c of her age. She had a good Sr. outing @ Nat'ls too.
    ---

    It's kind of crazy how the U.S. dominated the Jr. scene during that period, but it couldn't translate that same dominance as seniors. However, those Jrs. that did dominate weren't so bad in gen. w/ the entire U.S. sweep from '07 Jr. Worlds still competing to this very day.
    ---

    I think it says more about US Ladies TBH. The fact that Ashley & Mirai will in days be 26 & 24 & still be 2 of the top contenders for the Olympic team says it all. At least Ashley has improved her skating over the last 5 yrs, but if Mirai were skating for Japan or Russia w/ how her skating stagnated post '10, she would prob. be buried like Leonova or retired by now. There just have been no real talented girls that have come up since Sochi to challenge the older ladies like Mirai who quite frankly hasn't exactly set the world on fire. = someone like Mariah Bell is almost the same age as Gracie.***

    There were a few I really liked and seemed t/b as talented as any; Naomi Nar Nam, Bea Liang, & "The Pearl" (Carolina Zhang)! The Pearl obvious had a horrible growth spurt, but the others probably just beat their bodies to HELL much too early in their development! What happened to that rule about jrs not = attempting all those triples? Silly how we seem to beat our skaters into the USA ice while Japan has reserves in the wings!

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  26. ***Naturally, someone mentions Tonya Harding.***

    If not for Tonya drama, I wouldn't have gotten back into figure skating in '94! The 80's were nauseating to me! It was all about Witt for the ladies, then Brian B.'a & Scott Ham.. for the men; am. & pro ranks! Hamilton could leave blood on the ice & the judges would still give him perfect 10 scores! ...The 90's were the best & Tonya should get a lot of credit bringing back the popularity & $$ for the sport which was near DEAD! Got to see prime of Bonaly & saw ascension of ATG's like Kwan, Slutskaya, Plushenko, & Yagudin! It fell off for a while, but I've been very impressed w/ the new gen. of Hanyu, Uno, & Chen!
    ---

    What's Your Fave Performance or Program Ever? I keep watching Hanyu's LP of this past season where he finally skated it perfectly @ World FS Chps.! I'm gonna have to put it right up there as #1 "all X" IMB b/c of the quality of skating, the music, & gen. emotion gen. by the performance! Yagudin was no fave of mines w/ his behavior towards Plushenko & his subsequent split from Mishon, his '02 Olympic programs were by far the best @ the X; SP "Winter" & LP "Man In The Iron Mask!" I also give an hon. mention to his '01 Worlds SP of Chopin's, "Revolution Etude!" Loved Irina Slutskaya's SP, "Serenade!"

    ***When I saw Hanyu's performance on YouTube, I was so surprised b/c the audience reaction seems mild on the video compared to what it was like in the arena. I mean my dad was there w/ me & the poor guy had his fingers in his ears 20 secs into the program b/c it was absolutely deafening. (I personally don't "get" Hanyu so I didn't "feel" the feeling, but for his fans it mhb an absolute delight, like a dream come true.***

    Hanyu had 1 of the best performances I've ever seen in Helsinki w/ him taking off & landing on the ice w/ so much precision! It was very impressive; esp. giving us 5 Quads! Wasn't it just a few yrs ago when Tim Goebel set all kinds of records w/ 3? Now they're routinely doing Quad Lutz & Loops! Amazing! It seemed like we were going in the opp. direction for a while, putting more in the character & theme of a performance! Nowadays, these skaters truly have it all when we had only smatterings of genius in Yagudin, Plushenko, Lysacek, & Lambiel! The men's ranks have been slim to thin for a while! This is about as comp. as I can remember = w/ the likes of Stojko, Eldridge, Urmanov, Kulik, & Browning around @ the same X!

    ***I was never a fan of Kwan's skating, but ...That said, why would anyone want to hash out their divorce in public?***

    I knew whenever it happened, her marriage wouldn't hold up no matter who it was! I can see her as a real control freak seeing as she's called the shots since she as 12! I was never a fan of her persona or skating & thought she hindered the progress of the next gen. by overstaying her welcome! Irina Slutskaya had legitimately supplanted her in the world IMO & we had Sasha, Naomi, & so many other good skaters that had t/b intimidated, demurred to her legend! Kwan was the type of skater who was over-marked too many X's to count! Near the end, the love turned & Irina started getting the marks! At the GPF 1 yr, I'm pretty sure Irina only completed 3 triples & MK had @ least 5! Loved seeing the shoulder shrugs of the American contingent while commiserating w/ Kwan! How many X's did others have to do the same when Michelle skated away w/ a medal undeserved?

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  27. ***...Not as many men, for instance, are flutzers. I think this has more to do w/ strength than good tech.***

    The LUTZ is just hard for women; no matter how skilled! To this day, the only skater I can think of who really scratches that outside edge every X was Butyskaya! She really exaggerated it so no 1 could accuse her of flutzing; = though 1 of the ugliest executions upon landing!

    ***Sasha is the #1 reason why I grew to love skating as much as I did/do. ...She was a >er spinner & had >er flexibility. Everything was just lovely. I still miss her dearly & the attention to detail that she put into every movement.***

    I've written in detail how much I think Cohen's career whb diff. if Kwan had retired in a X-ly fashion! Her hanging on like an old vulture stifled many of the ladies IMO! We had quite a few that were great talents & had wonderful potential like Naomi Nari Nam! I could watch Nam & Cohen all day long; the grace, & "attention to detail" were always evident in their skating! But to beat the Queen, you have to push yourself & their lit'l bodies couldn't take it; esp. Naomi's! The same thing's going on in tennis w/ Fedal extending their careers longer than expected! It changes the whole dynamics of the tour by them = walking around w/ other players in awe of them breathing air! No matter how good you are, if your mindset & confidence aren't there you'll still fail!

    ***...If Michelle c/d all these 3-3 combos in practice, why did she only - barely - manage a 3T+3T in comp? Sasha = managed a 3Lz+3T (albeit a flutz, which MK borderline had also, btw)...***

    I always thought Kwan was terribly overrated by assuming her success meant she had t/b a great jumper! You can count the occasions on 1 hand when she went outside her comfort zone! During her convalescent period waiting for a leg fracture to heal during the '97-98 season, she avoided that simple 3T/3T combo in deference to an added 3 Lp w/ a step out 2T! I still SMH over the awe people had in MK skating when there were so many more daring & charismatic skaters out there! My fave was Surya Bonaly, followed by Slutskaya who beat MK like a drum those last sev. yrs! I didn't think anyone could outdo the balletic style of Oksana Baiul until Cohen came along! When she was maybe 14, she was added to 1 of those exh./comp. held here in the States! She was supposedly injured so was limited to 3 T & 3 S, but she didn't need the jumps! Her stroking around the ice was reminiscent of Peggy Fleming in those waning yrs trying to utilize the old lady to the last! PF was limited to a single axel by then, but true skaters don't need to leave the ice! Cohen's a lot like that; her "falling leaf," splits jumps that seem to go >er than most since she's just a lit'l pixie, & then those spins that Michelle can only DREAM of performing! I miss her!

    ***Who has the best 2-Axel?***

    When I think of 2-Axels, I imagine Bonaly performing them from a standing position while others need to stroke around the ice in a fig. 8 before stepping up into it! I had stopped watching FS for a few yrs, nauseated w/ the top skaters & the constant fawning of Witt, Boitano, & Hamilton! Robin Cousins was my last fave back in that era! The Kerrigan/Harding drama brought me back in '94 & I was instantly taken by Surya; the effortlessness of that jump & others! That season, she skated to Vivaldi's "4 Seasons" & @ the start of the program she just does a 2-Axel w/ no real prep; someX's 2 & goes about the rest of her program! It remained simple for her to execute while others need to build all kinds of momentum going into the jump! I think the reason it was easy is she trained t/d a triple, but never performed it in her live program! It was the same reason Sasha Cohen "over-rotated" some of her jumps; she practiced quads!

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  28. ***...When did Sasha Cohen land this in comp.? I remember her falling on an under-rotated 3Lz+3T in SLC, but don't recall her landing 1 clean in comp.***

    I never missed a performance & probably have it on VHS tape somewhere in storage, but Sasha did complete that combo @ least once ('03 WC)! = Michelle went outside her comfort zone a lit'l w/ a 3Ltz/2Lp combo, maybe attempted 3Lp @ the end to squeak it out! She was trying to overcome the genuine affection the judges & fans had for Irina Slutskaya who had gone thru so much in life! She survived horrible conditions in Russia over her career, saving to pay for operation on her mom, & barely recovered herself from that heart ailment w/ fluid on her heart! MK's been stroked since birth & is probably a DIVA; runs the whole show!

    ***...I never enjoyed Irina's skating much so automatically as a Sasha uber I'm gonna go w/ Sasha despite her many flaws. Far more enjoyable to watch, = when she fell. Irina always looked so, so sloppy & hunched over for me, despite her oodles of charisma.***

    I just loved that Irina kept MK's record in check! Michelle would have won so much more w/o the judge's fave "rosy cheek" I.S. in the comp.! Her jumping was just enough to overtake the style & grace of MK it seemed! It's probably why I liked Surya so much! Sasha's stroking around the ice is still more entertaining than any of these skaters! It was a real shame simple errors kept her from medaling more!

    ***I think Hanyu's Chopin SP is excellent & it has the world record. I wouldn't mind if he went back to his LP from '16 either. I was floored by it @ '17 Worlds & that wasn't = my fave program of his. He's freaking awesome. It's going t/b a difficult season for all of the top men, but I'd love to see Yuzuru as a 2X Olympic champ @ the end of it all. I think he's w/o ?? the best men's skater. He just has to hit to his potential.***

    I wouldn't mind if Hanyu stayed w/ the current programs t/b a 2X Olympic champ w/ them as signature pieces that w/b looked back on w/ such adulation! Supposedly you couldn't hear the last min. of his music the applause was so sustained @ Worlds last March! It really was a flaw< performance seeing as the air has been known t/b quite thin since '99 Worlds were held there! Yagudin squeaked by a surging Plushenko back then who had kept his LP from the prev. season! I loved that New Age music from Jarre!

    ***As someone who was there in Helsinki that night, the applause was thunderous. I remember clapping like crazy after he landed the Lutz & continuing to clap well after he finished his program. It was absolutely incredible. Whatever he decides to do if he can create another performance of that caliber & win gold I'll take it.***

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  29. ***...The Lutz is hard for me b/c that edge change can come so late. Often there's ft-wk into the flip which helps.***

    I instantly thought of '95 Euros where Bonaly was performing! She came around the ice 1/2-way thru the program & was doing some ft-work, speeding up & it was like "is she going to do a LUTZ?" She did!
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    So Nathan Succeeds from "The King of Quads," Tim Goebel to being the "Lord of Quads?" I forgot about the boot sit. @ Worlds! I just thought he peaked too soon winning Nat'ls, then "4 Cont." going away after a great SP!
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    ...The ladies have regressed from what lit'l I've seen of them! You used to get a quad outta one of the ladies, now the triple axel seems t/b lost w/ Asada!

    ***Since when have the ladies been reg. doing quads? I must have missed that era.***

    You had sev. female skaters who @ least practiced it & threw it into program if they felt they needed it! From Surya to Sasha to Miki Ondo; quads were @ least talked about in the ladies' event they skated!

    ***You literally named the only 3 skaters who have attempted quad jumps in the women's div., Sasha lit. only once in comp., Surya 4 or 5 X's in the early '90s, & Miki's were 15-20 yrs later. That's like saying the 80s was the era of men's quads b/c 3 people were attempting them. ...
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    Right, = when Surya, Miki, & Sasha spoke about quads, nobody really took that to mean the ladies all of a sudden were going to have a quad revolution, esp. w/ how quickly those 3 skaters abandoned any further quad attempts after their initial tries. +, Sasha was never close to landing one in comp. like the 1 X she tried it & I don't think people believed she really had one.
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    Yes! Eldredge's toe-loops often looked like Salchows to me. It was the really late change of foot w/ instant pick-in that made them feel like Salchows.***

    It was one hideous attempt; probably only completed once! The others had him crashing to the ice; including '98 Nat'ls qualif. for the Olympics! I was personally "all-in" w/ Michael Weiss & his quad Lutz attempt, but he barely 2-footed it! ...Eldridge could have spattered his brains all over the ice & in back of the ambulance be proclaimed "the winner!" Nat'ls are shady all over the world, but the USA takes it to new heights w/ drama & intrigue going on when it comes to forming a World Team!

    ***Not a major podium per se, but Sarah did beat Michelle & Irina to win '01 Skate Canada. That turned out t/b the exact same podium for SLC. Of all her major competitors (Lulu, Tara, Maria, Irina & Sasha), I just have to respect Irina the most. Say all you want about her style & judging bias, but she was most resilient & was w/ Michelle @ or near the top for the longest ('96 - '05) despite breaks during that period. Lulu was wonderful, but she & Michelle only really went H2H in '95 & '96, Tara only '97 & '98, Maria only '99 & '00, Sasha only '02 - '05; she only started beating Michelle when she became injured circa '04.***

    I loved the dom./fav. that went to Irina = though I'm American! There was just something about MK that was so "self-entitled;" needing t/b taken down a peg! Irina had her # there for a few yrs from '00 doing 3/3's & "judge satisfying" routines that brought the crowds to their feet! I stayed up all night to catch '01 GWG's in Austr.! Since it was an Olympic yr w/ '02 SLC soon, the skaters featured their new "SP's!" I loved Irina's, "Serenade!"

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  30. Watching Canadian GP & it was over in the 1st jumping pass for Chan as he had one of the worst performances I can remember! Not sure he'll = make the podium w/o a lot of "home-cooking" to save him!

    ***Am I the only one wondering if he'll compete the whole season? Not only was the program poor, Patrick doesn't seem like his heart is in it. Granted he was saying he was tired & probably just nervous in gen. in the Kiss & Cry. I wish him the best, but that was tough to watch.
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    Listening to everything Patrick said this wk makes me believe he has mentally checked out. He's an intelligent guy & knowing you're coming into a gun fight w/ a proverbial knife will do nothing for your confidence. I really enjoyed his SP & his skating skills are so ahead of everybody else but he just can't put up enough pts w/o those quads. I often wonder how much of him remaining in comp. has more to do w/ SC forcing his hand. He just doesn't seem like he wants to compete anymore.***

    I'm no fan, but I can give him a lit'l cover by saying he's no spring chicken! The expectations & demands of skating NOW is @ a much >er level than his prime skating yrs! He's well past it @ 26, being asked to put X quads in his LP's! It's just not very realistic; on par w/ Plushenko coming back one more X trying to push it to qualify! This reminds me of Eldridge qualifying for the '02 Olympics knowing where the sport was headed w/ the quad, but he still went out there; wound up barely in the top 10! I'm not saying Chan's a creaky old vet, but people's expectations need to pull back! He's going t/b lucky snatching bronze on the GP! The content just isn't there tech. & his artistic stroking around the ice isn't going to make up for that!

    ***I beg to differ. I don't feel Todd was gifted @ all @ US Nat'ls. I was stunned by the tie in the SP, but I felt Todd deserved his 6th US title over all (artistry, presentation). Don't get me wrong, Timmy was fantastic @ the Olympics, & totally deserved his Olympic Bronze Medal, + his subsequent World silver medals.

    If you want to talk about travesty in judging, I'll say Todd deserved no < than silver @ 2001 Worlds. W/ all due respect to Alexei (who totally deserved his Olympic Gold Medal in SLC), he skated a very flawed free skate in Vancouver Worlds. I realize that he was injured & couldn't perform to the best of his ability @ those Worlds. I don't blame Alexei for the result there, I blame the judges, esp. the 3 who had the nerve to place Todd 3rd after his "1492" free skate.
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    I think there's more going on w/ Chan than him just hoping to coast to the Olys w/ minimal effort. - I feel horrible for Patrick. I hope he can find his groove & regroup (also hoping there's no injury). It was still a beautiful program to watch = w/ all of the jumping error.
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    I was there @ CoR & I did not remember a clean 4Lo from Nathan in practice. M/b it's not that good for his hip & he should take it out. Of course, I'm not Nathan himself or his doctor. But if he does not do 4Lo anymore, I can see why.***

    These guys are going t/b in wheelchairs before 30 if they don't pull back some! We saw what happened to Yagudin, but of course he had a congenital problem already! He was only putting in 2 4T's compared to today's skaters adding all the quads into their programs! I know it's more entertaining w/ all the quads, but I don't need them personally! A great program c/b just as enjoyable to watch w/ no jumps if done right & the skater puts in the effort to make it so!

    ***Well if they think their bodies can handle all these quads, it's their choices. I'm worried for their bodies, but it's not my calls. It's their choices (and maybe their coaches too).***

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  31. ***...This is reminiscent of Kwan not wanting to do anything but Skate America, but then she accidentally qualified for the GPF anyway.***

    I never knew Kwan had an aversion to going abroad! As far as I can remember she skated both SA & SC & qualified for the final @ least a 1/2 dozen X's; going down to Slutskaya! It was a tougher event back then w/ 3 programs performed; 1 SP & 2 LP's! The skaters usually used the previous season's program due to that extra performance needed to win the gold! This was my fave event for that reason! I guess the skaters thought it was stupid & they finally dropped a LP!

    ***Ladies & gentlemen, presenting the 1 & only person who misses the 2 LP GP "super final" format. - It was incredibly stupid. We usually saw repeat LP's that skaters had the season or 2 before, & it was clear it had barely been trained (excep. Kwan's "Miraculous Mandarin" & Slutskaya's "Don Quixote" actually being debuted @ the event). At one pt, the event schedule was also SP & LP1 both in 1 day, w/ about 6 hrs inbtwn IIRC. And the 'Super Final' where it was 1 vs 2 & 3 vs 4 - skaters were limited to only those positions = if the skater in 4th place going in happened to have the best skate that night. Def. 1 of the worst ISU ideas ever.***

    Well I usually liked the programs from the prev. season of the top skaters! Come on; we're talking an extra 4-5 min. on the ice! Figure skaters are accustomed to being abused; esp. @ the Olympics where it's 1 "command performance" after another! They were actually traveling over the diff. islands in Japan when the event was set in Nagano in '98! It seemed like every X I surfed, the skaters were performing again; not repeats of the telecast! Have we forgotten "Qfying?" At Worlds that performance can determine if you = skate in the event! Exhbs. c/b just as stressful if not more b/c they're holding back on the "tech" to stay upright, but accidents will happen = on the simplest of elements! An extra LP shouldn't be that big a deal!

    ***The diff. @ the Olympics is that the skaters usually have a day inbtwn their events. This switched w/ Sochi IIRC, but in the past, there had (almost) always been a day inbtwn the SP & LP's. ...A LOT of the performances in the LP1 & LP2 were way below any decent standard. OTOH, it did create the battle btw Yagudin & Plushenko b4 the '02 Olymp. & that was 1 of the most exciting & intense free skate broadcasts I've ever seen. But it was bad > than it was good.***

    I remember that! Malinina along w/ other skaters tended t/b undermarked @ X's! Tech. she surpassed Kwan, but they just couldn't give it to her! Fig. skating w/b an absolute criminal enterprise until the human element is elim.! I thought shady scoring would stop w/ this new system, but it's still as corrupt! I was looking forward to Evgeny cleaning up that "Circ" performance @ the Olympics, but he switched to Carmen which is 1 of my least fave since so many people have done it in all the skating disciplines! Mishon gave Carmen to Yagudin yrs. ago taking World Bronze medal in '97 IIRC!

    ***JW mentioned that Rippon was going for a 3F+3L. Is that true? I've never seen that jump combo from him. He could theoretically do a 3F+3L & then do a 2A in place of the solo 3L, increasing his BV from a 2L to a 2A overall. Alternately, he has a fine lutz. Why not repeat the 3Z instead of the 3F & gain an extra pt or so?***

    Watching vid on YouTube Rippon stayed w/i himself & I'm proud enough for him that he got thru the program unscathed! There were some shaky landings, but he stayed on his feet & I'll probably save the performance when it repeats later! Bravo!

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