Some skaters are underrated by fans and some by judges. Although skaters underrated by American fans might not be underrated by German fans-or what have you.
And fans might think that their favorites are "underrated" while skaters they don't like are "overrated."
So, with that disclaimer out of the way here's my list.
Underrated by N. American fans...
Alexei Urmanov: Very underrated in N. America, although not in Europe. He seems to be considered a "flash in the pan" just because the only major medal he did not win was Worlds Gold. He had a very unique, original style. He also (and this tends to be overlooked) had great jumping abilities-I believe he was the first man to land a quad (loop? lutz?) at the 1991 Europeans. Had a triple axel. Also had nice flow and speed.
Valova & Vasiliev: 4 time World Champions, 2 Olympic Medals, seemed almost forgotten. They were the first pair(IIRC) to do side by side triple jumps, in an era when most of the pairs were still doing side by side double jumps. They increased the technical difficulty of pairs skating. They were also the first pair to have success with Moskvina's choreography, which added a new dimension to their skating.
Artur Dmitriev: He shattered preconcieved notions of what a male pair skater should be. He had two highly successful partnerships, and in pairs skating with it's emphesis on line, unision and timing-that is hard to do. He's also a great pair's partner and skater-which seems to be sometimes overlooked. Speaking of Artur...
M&D: Introduced unique spins/lifts and choreography. I see their influence on *almost* every pair that followed. IMO-the most influencial team of the 1990s.
Bestmova(sp?) & Bukin: 4 times World Champions, 2 time Olympic Medalists. They introduced a theatrical style to ice dance, it is a style that I see in lot of the couples of the 1990s.
Trixie Schuba(sp?): (Just so my list wouldn't be all Russian/Soviet skaters
Yeah, her free skating skills were nothing to write home about. But she was probably the greatest master of the figures the sport has ever known. I don't think we should go back to figures, but back then, excelling at figures is what it took to win-and she did that. But she seems most remembered for "amateurish" free style skills.
Underrated by Judges:
Sasha Abt: He has a stamina problem. But there are at least two times (Russian Nat'l 1998 & Euros 2002) where he did not get the medal he deserved.
C/S: I'm not an expert on ice dancing-(I like Lobacheva and Averbukh's costumes ). But most people think they improve their edges etc. Yet, their scores and placements have gone down.
So, who do you think is underrated-why?