Where would you rank S/Z among the best pair skaters of all time?
I am just so impressed with S/Z after all these years...skating together for 18 years is not easy to do. IMO, their overall contribution to skating and accomplishment far surpass that of their rivals S/P & B/S from ’98 to ’02, T/M ’02 to ’06 & recently S/S. They have brought power, excitement, elegance, and consistency...not just for one Olympic cycle, but 4!!!! Along the way, they have gotten fair criticisms from fans and judges...and instead of giving up, they persevered by improving on all aspects of their skating…choreography, basic skating skills, transitions, musicality, and even those darn sbs spins!!! At the end, they have captured two Olympic bronze medals, one Olympic gold medal, and the hearts of a billion people.
So what do you think…in your eyes, can they now be considered the best pair skaters of all time…if not one of the best?
As a side note: have they ever beaten S/P or B/S?
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
They are certainly up there. In the past few years their unison, chemistry and skating skills rival the greats. They have proved themselves versatile with the new system and have developed into amazing show skaters. Her consistancy on the throws is unparalelled and they belong to the very elite quad throw club.
To answer you question:
Yes, S/Z got the silver medal at the World Championships in 2000 in Nice while S/P got 4th. S/P were expected to win it all but made some major mistakes at the LP. (In fact Sale made reference to this World's competition in the Figure Skating show in reference to the fact that there was an "aura" in the air that caused most of the pairs in the LP here to make mistakes like she sale in 2000.)
S/Z also beat B/S in the Grand Prix Final in 1999 and 2000.
And I think they are one of the best pairs skaters of all time and appeal to a different group of folks. You got to admire the Russians for their long history of grace and artistry, but I like S/Z because they have a more geniune feeling when they skate. Even if you didn't know their story, you could feel that there's something about them.
I would have them 3rd on my all-time list!
Meanwhile in a parallel universe ....
I wouldn't rank S/Z as the best but I would rank them as one the best....There are way too many pair teams to consider and yes many of them are Russian, lol. Some to consider as of the best pair skaters Gordeeva/Grinkov, Mishkutenok/Dmitriev,and Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze and the Protopopovs.
I can never rank a "best." I can usually figure out a best grouping, but beyond that it's impossible for me. And why try? Are we planning to save only the recorded skates of the one best pair and throw all the others away? Maybe I'm just greedy, but I want to consider all the great pairs as list toppers. A seven-way (or somesuch) tie. Definitely, Shen and Zhao would be part of that tie. G & G would be there, and Rodnina/Zaitsev (not artistic, but powerful and intense), and Mishkutenok/Dmitriev, B/S, the pathfinding Protopopovs, and I'd add Sale and Pelletier. Having just rewatched their "Love Story" skate, I'd like to make a case for their stylish, smooth lyricism, their emotional immediacy, and the power of their lifts.
To my mind, it's a lot easier to decide who the greatest pairs are than almost any other discipline. Lots of people argue about who the best ladies are, and the best men. But most of us agree, with very few additions or subtractions on everyone's part, on the top half dozen or so pairs of all time.
Keeper of the Kweens OGM.
They are absolutely amoung the best in their own way, they are stunning to watch, thier connection to eachother is beautiful. Their longevity is amazing and something to be admired.
Go marry the quad if you love it so much
In terms of lasting influence, S/Z are in the top 5, possibly 3rd after the Protopopovs and Gordeeva/Grinkov. Those gigantic, vertical twist lifts and recklessly huge throw jumps we see now started with S/Z, and became de rigueur as a result of their dominance. They've changed the way other pairs skater train and learn. In addition to that, they're also the pioneering pairs team in a country that is shaping up to have quite the pairs dynasty.
Tripping on the Podium
I agree that I would put those Russian pairs ahead of S/Z. S/Z doesn't thrill me to the bones as those pairs did in the past.
Originally Posted by theresa
The only sure thing is: the best non-Russian pair of all time.
Personally, I am not their biggest fan, but that's for sure. I actually have them 4th, behind M&D, B&S, G&G, but when we speak about the best of the best, it is just a matter of taste.
among those I've seen competing since I started watching figure skating (1998) I'll put them first! I dreamed so much with them! and also when I saw them alive in a show it was so impressing!! on tv thrown jumps sometimes doesn't look as big as they really are.
among all the skaters I've watched later, I would have them 2nd:
They are definitely among the best pairs ever in history, clearly the best non-russians.
Concerning also the influence to the future skating they made here it is my all-time order:
1. Protapopovs ( the most aesthetical and perfect pair with tons of new idea. beauty and perfectionism, their perfect beauty lasted to decades.they are "John Curry" of pair skating, but 15 years before him. innovators of "death spin")
2. Gordeeva-Grinkov ( slightly bit less innovative but a perfectly matched pair with breathtaking technique. the same way "smooth" like the Propapopovs)
3.Shen- Zhao ( made a new era of pair-skating, we can call acrobatics on the ice. Their long-lasting carrier gave them a chance to develop as the most emotional pair over there. they are becoming from acrobats to everybody's darling- myself included).
Last edited by bigdeal; 02-17-2010 at 09:12 AM.
Thanks for your comments, everyone. I would rank these greats as the following in terms of:
S/Z: ’98-’07, ’09-‘10
G/G: ’86-’90, ‘94
P/P: 2 OG; 4 WG, 3 WS
G/G: 2 OG; 4WG, 1WS
S/Z: 1 OG, 2 OB; 3 WG, 3WS, 1WB
B/S: 1 OG, 1 OS; 2WG, 1WS
M/D: 1 OG, 1 OS; 2WG, 1WB
S/P: 1 OG; 1WG
S/Z longevity, consistency, & big tricks with improved artistry
G/G elegance with technical skill & versatility
P/P balletic artistry & smooth edges
M/D passion, technical skill, & choreography
B/S flow & artistry, but lack consistency
S/P artistry & technical skill, but lack longevity
S/Z has by far the greatest longevity. I don’t know of any other pairs in the history of pairs skating who is able to combine the big tricks and good skating so consistently for 10 seasons! G/G is a close second for their superb ability to combine elegance & technical skill, but they did not have “wow” factor in their big tricks as S/Z. P/P may have the greatest artistry, but they didn’t need to do sbs 3 jumps, 3 throw jumps & 3 twists back then. M/D, B/S & S/P didn't have the longevity and consistency, although their overall skating can rival, if not better than S/Z. This is of course my opinion, and I appreciate and respect all yours.
I agree with Olympia - we can't talk about the figure skating greats while ignoring Rodnina with Ulanov/Zaitsev. They influenced all modern figure skating greatly. Sure, we may not LIKE them, but we have to give some credit to them, especially when we're talking about longevity and medals.
I mean, if we combine R&U and R&Z, we get:
Longevity: 1968-1978, 19810.
Medlas: 3 OG; 10 WG
Wow, Ptichka. Their accomplishments are quite impressive!!!
Originally Posted by Ptichka