In 2001, when a resolute Kwan narrowly beat Slutskaya for the world title for the second straight year, French figure skating coach Annick Gailhaguet called Kwan the greatest skater of the previous 50 years but thought she had stagnated.
"Skating is not only speed or jumps or choreography," Gailhaguet said. "It is all those qualities together. Nobody ever had all those qualities, but the one who has the most is Michelle.
"Everything she does in the skating part is perfect - the quality of the edges, the positions of her body, arms and head, her line, her lightness, the technique on her jumps. But I would like to see her do something completely different in her programs. She changes the music but it's the same program. ... Except for that, she is the best skater our sport has ever had."