Is the greatness of a skater measured by medals?
Is a great skater defined by how many medals and which ones they win? I don't think so, necessarily. Anyone can give examples of skaters?
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
no. Sasha, Michlle and Shen and Zhao and Bebe are the best in my heart, but none have OGM to thier names.
my favorite example is aways Kurt Browning - yes he's a 4 time world champion and 3 time world pro champ, but he never got a medal at the Olympics.
Still he's constantly someone people compare skaters to, he's talked about, he's loved.
His career as a pro match if not surpassed other Olympic Men's champs - his name is right up there with Scott Hamilton's Brian Boitanos... and I feel he's had a more successful career than that of Viktor Petrenko or Alexi Urmanov...
while many of the champs just continue on the same plane or even dummy down their programs over the years, Kurt continued(s) to expand his range of programs... he's much more versatile now than he was in 94 when he left the competitive side of the sport.
I think in 50 years we'll still be talking about him (and not just because I still plan to be kicking his name into threads)... he's just that good....
there are other skaters that have that sort of 'greatness'... he's just my favorite.
I think there's more to it than medals. Of course we all want the skaters we like to win and I'm sure they do as well, but how much they're loved and remembered as well as how much they add to the sport has to do with passion, innovation, and how well they connect to the fans.
NO and NO again. Some of the great ones have medals but not OGM. Some skaters have the OGM and you never see or hear about them again, and for good reason. It's not about the medals, which are subjectively awarded by judges from different countries, unlike other sports which have evry measureable criteria i.e basketball, golf, baseball. It's really about the skating.
I think the mark of a great skater is great skating. Many times that coincides with medals; often times not, especially those great free skaters who had weak figures.
I think that medals are the measure of a great competitor.
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
In a word no. Read Toller Cranton's book "Zero Tollerance" and he will shed some light on that subject. What skater's like to be thought of as greatness is leaving their mark on the sport and making it better for their participation. Toller Cranston never won a World Title or an Olympic Gold medal and yet he is considered the "Skater of the Century."
More on Toller:
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
I am with you, Toni. I think in 50 years (when we're all cranky lol), when we talk about the quints (that's a scary thought), we will still talk about the "good old days" when Kurt Browning could captivate an audience with his blade work. Yagudin's footwork never came close to Browning.
Originally Posted by Tonichelle
Couldn't have said it better myself Hockeyfan.
Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
In my opinion, the medal colour and count are very important but NOT the only criteria of greatness. I also consider a skater's influence on the sport. Whether that be pushing the technical or artisitc limits, increasing the popularity of the sport (but excluding the "wack"), etc....
That's why I agree that Kurt Browning is a great skater even though he never won an Olympic medal of any colour. In my opinion, his multple World titles and contributions to the sport over his career are greater than a single Olympic Gold medal.
Having said that, I still believe that the Olympic gold medal remains the ultimate prize for a competitive skater and should not be discounted. If a skater is one of the favourites to win it, the pressure is huge because the Olympics only occur every 4 years and the audience is much larger than a World championship. The ability to come through in the most pressure packed event is a measure of greatness for an athlete in any sport.
So for me, the greatest skaters are those who have a lasting influence on the sport and win the Olympic Gold medal (eg. Henie).
Desperate Mouse Killer
All of my favorite skater, apart from Yagudin are not or not yet olympic gold medalists.
I think what we see in recent years in many of the Olympic Gold medalists are not the real great Champions of the sport. Of course some still are like Yamaguchi, Yagudin, Plushenko, and maybe Petrenko. However many others are not like Hughes, Baiul, Urmanov, Kulik, Arakawa, and even Lipinski .
In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
One name comes readily to mind:
Originally Posted by hockeyfan228
I think it depends on what the skater hopes to gain from their skating. If you are an average Joe trying to be the best skater you can be (at any level) then NO, medals don't matter.
If you want to make some money out of skating by doing a Disney show or something like that, then NO, medals don't matter
If you are wanting to make a professional career and are looking for corporate sponsorship then YES, absolutely medals matter. While many great skaters have continued to improved with time like my all time favourite, Kurt Browning , you have to have made a name for yourself in order to get into the great shows like SOI.