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Thread: Underrated Skaters

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    Underrated Skaters

    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?
    Have Fun.

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    Artur is my fave male pair skater. He has so much passion and strength on the ice. He is also the most masculine skater I have seen. M&D where the best and my all time fave couple. I also agree about Urmanov,a very elegant and wonderful jumper. He was never forgiven by the NA media for beaten Elvis at the 94 Olympics. Very Sad.

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    Great thread!

    I agree about Abt.

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    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    I agree with all of your examples except for Artur -- I think his contribution to the sport is well recognized.

    I especiall agree with you on Bestmianova & Bukin, my all time favoritedance duo. I much prefered them to Klimova & Ponomarenko, and am always surprised to see them omitted from the list of the greatest.

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    I totally agree about Sasha Abt in Euros 2002. I didn't see Russian Nats
    1998, perhaps you could comment?

    Also, Cup of Russia, 2002. While Evgeni deserved to win overall, one could
    make a case for Sasha in first after SP. (Li was the only one who was clean,
    but his artistry is nowhere near Evgeni or Sasha...though he was amazing
    at Worlds. Perhaps he's underrated?)

    Under rated (current skaters)

    Brian Joubert (should've been first in SP at Skate America, should've been
    above Mike Weiss at Worlds, they were dinging him for that horrible qualifying
    round, not judging the skating on the ice)

    Sergei Davydov (also should've been above Mikey at Worlds, also Bofrost)

    Let me think some more....

    Laura

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    I disagree about Artur. I think he's probably the best male pair partner of all time in terms of artistry. He presented his lady well, but was also wonderfully artistic as well. He is also an excellent jumper when he's in good shape. He's pretty much a guaranteed performer on the COI tour no matter who he skates with. We love him.

    I love Brian and was hoping that he'd medal at worlds, but he did have mistakes in every program and 3 mistakes in his LP: the Zayak rule deduction on the 2 quads, the doubled loop jump, and that wonky stumble on his final spin move of the program.

    Had he added a double toe at the end of one of those quads, and not had that fluke mistake on the final move on his program, he probably could have been over Weiss in the LP (and gotten a standing O to boot).

    IIRC he was 5th or 6th in the SP and 6th in the LP, which isn't bad.

    I agree about Sasha though. He rocks.
    Last edited by Verbalgirl77; 08-22-2003 at 08:44 PM.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I was always diasappointed that Tonya Kwiatkowski never won a U.S. championship. They should give extra points for "nice person and outstanding role model." Maybe it will be incorporated into the CoP, LOL.

    Mathman

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    Originally posted by Mathman
    I was always diasappointed that Tonya Kwiatkowski never won a U.S. championship. They should give extra points for "nice person and outstanding role model." Maybe it will be incorporated into the CoP, LOL.

    Mathman

    I agree, I always thought Tonia was an interesting skater. She stuck it out a long time, but what was her best finish? I always wondered what exactly held her back from really making a splash, and further thought it must have been frustrating to continue to get bested by new skaters each year.

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    Tonya: I think her performance during 1996 Worlds was her highest.
    Last edited by lulu; 08-22-2003 at 11:35 PM.

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    Tonia's best result at Nationals was 2nd in 1996. Man, I miss her. :(

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    Originally posted by curious
    I also agree about Urmanov,a very elegant and wonderful jumper. He was never forgiven by the NA media for beaten Elvis at the 94 Olympics. Very Sad.
    Yes, that is true. If it were not so sad, it would be rather funny, considering that in the freeskate Elvis was not even close to win... Elvis got only one judge, and Urmanov got six (one of them the Canadian judge).

    Marjaana

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    I also agree about Urmanov,a very elegant and wonderful jumper. He was never forgiven by the NA media for beaten Elvis at the 94 Olympics. Very Sad.
    Yes, that is true. If it were not so sad, it would be rather funny, considering that in the freeskate Elvis was not even close to win... Elvis got only one judge, and Urmanov got six (one of them the Canadian judge).
    I totally agree. That Stojko-should've-won-Olympics-in-Lillehammer-thing is only a myth, even the Canadian judge voted for Urmanov. I'm not a huge fan, but I always liked him. IMHO he was at least more interesting to watch than Eldredge or Stojko. The way he was treated and ignored in NA is unpardonable.

    Anke

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    Underrated skaters, for me, is more of a judges thing than a fan thing. Sometimes the judges get an impression of a skater (usually one who is not a favorite to place), and mark that skater down because of past performances, and not accepting this skater's personal best. Kwiatkowski is an excellent example.

    Joe

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    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    Kwaitkowski usually didn't thrill me but she was certainly undermarked in one of the later performances she did. I don't remember (of course!) which one but I was really disappointed in the judging that time.

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    M&D are probably the least "underrated" team on my list. Some of the other skaters have been almost completely forgotten.
    I do think they are somewhat underrated in terms of skating skills. G&G were the textbook skaters-almost everything they did was textbook.
    B&S in my opinion is a better team, with their speed and jumps-but they were inconsistant.
    There are faults in M&D's skating skills, like I wish Artur wouldn't stop after throwing the lady. But they still have some really good skills, that I think gets overshadowed by G&G.
    Last edited by lulu; 08-23-2003 at 10:59 PM.

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