Who is the greatest COMPETITOR?
Forget who your favorite SKATER is. Who, in your opinion, is the greatest COMPETITOR? I wish I knew more of the up and coming skaters to include them in my guesses. I would have to say for me, I think the greatest competitors are:
Katarina Witt - she had all the mind games and the mental toughness and edge to pull it off.
Tara Lipinski - never gave up. Feisty little stinker.
Alexei Yagudin- Very good, strong and full of mind games in himself and his coach.
Brian Boitano- Whoa! He was good!
My honorable mention goes to: Sarah Hughes. When they counted her out she rose above and showed them all.
Rudy Galindo: he did the same.
Last edited by Fossi; 12-30-2006 at 12:43 PM.
Reason: my honorable mentions.
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Although Michelle never won her elusive Olympic gold, any one who could win 9 national championships and 5 worlds throughout a long skating career, has to be considered among the greatest competitors. She had to face down skaters challenging her from around the world through her career to win as she had. The Olympics are the one competition (although I grant quite special) that her
nerves got to her
dance: Torville and Dean. They were so heads and shoulders above the rest of the dancers , that they showed the ice dance world a new way to compete. Too bad the judges have stoped true competition in this field since (JMHO)
men I'd agree - Yagudin. just one word for him- FIERCE!!!
I agree about Kwan, Witt and T&D. I also think Plushenko should be added to the list. He rarely showed nerves or lost his form.
At the rink. Again.
For men, how about Elvis Stojko? Pulled groin, Silver Medal at the Olys? That's a tough and focused competitor!!
Agree on Katarina Witt, Brian Boitano and Alexei Yagudin. I'll add also Sonia Henie, Michelle Kwan, Irina Slutskaya, Midori Ito, Denise Biellmann, John Curry, Brian Orser, Robin Cousins, Scott Hamilton... For dance I'll say Torvill/Dean, Grishuk/Platov and Anissina/Peizerat, for Pairs I'll add Rodnina with both Ulanov and Zaitsev, Protopopov/Belousova, Gordeeva/Grinkov
Completely disagree with the choices of Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes and Rudy Galindo. There were many other greater competitors.
Last edited by gio; 12-30-2006 at 07:19 PM.
Not to take away from Kwan or Slute but I don't think you can call them the GREATEST competitors if they let the Olympics get to them. Sure, they've accomplished a heck of a lot outside of that, but if one falters (and more than once) on the biggest stage, is one really a better competitor than those who HAVE won the Olympics?
The two are great competitors but are they the greatEST? Just a question
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I don't really think you can use the Olympic gold medal as a pre-requisite in answering this question. Many OGM did not skate their best and still won, only because others skated worse. And in Michelle's case, she skated a perfect 7 triple program in '98 and still lost.
I think you have to consider what kind of competitor they were over their entire career.
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It is impossible to say really. If you go for a Lance Armstrong comparison, Ira overcoming something that would be an easy way to say no more. Rene and the cancer along with others...etc..
I don't take the view that they would have had to win everything to be a great "competitor." That I would classify as a great champion IMO.
Fumie being out "jumped" and still staying in there and doing so well???
Hard Question. I guess It comes down to what is a competitor and what would put one above the another.
Ira might just get my vote due to all that was happening even before her illness was diagnosed and then being told to stay away from skating for months - then competing 2 weeks after. That is up there IMO even though she received 9th.
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For the Men:
I have to add Elivs Stojko - he is the most focussed male skater competitor I have ever seen. Elvis has nerves of steel. Even when injured Elvis would continue to skate his program and never let another competitor unnerve him. He also was very gracious towards his fellow competitors. Kurt dubbed Elvis - "The Terminator."
I don't see Sarah Hughes as such a great competitor. Under normal conditions, she tended to skate conservatively and without much pizzazz. She put it all out there just once, at SLC, and IMO she was able to do it then only because she thought she had no chance to win. She skated before Cohen, Kwan and Slutskaya and had no clue that they were all going to falter.
Now if Sarah had delivered that same performance AFTER all the others had faltered, that would be a completely different story.
Last edited by chuckm; 12-30-2006 at 08:41 PM.
Witt, Plushenko, Gritshuk/Platov, Rodnina.
Does anyone know if Sonia Henie had good competitive nerves, or, was she just so much better than every one else that she never really worried?
In testing out how good a competitor a skater is, the results are not always conclusive. For example, MK showed more competitive nerve and focus skating in handling the streaker incident in '04 than she did at Worlds in '98.
I don't think Sonia Henie had many worries. One time a judge voted against her and her father chased him down the street and beat him up.
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