This will make you think about what you really appreciate as a single fan in great women.
There is no time factor. Obviously mature Gsers will have more memories to draw on. Then there is always Youtube for the younger folks here or any fan, who really like the top three eligibles and of course might only limit their likes to what they know.
I wish I could have gone to see any number of Michelle Kwan's competitions. I saw FOG as an exhibition and it was not her best. Competition brought out the fire I guess. I wish I were In Nagano to see Lyra Angelica. I loved Rach SP and also loved what she did with East of Eden both times in her career. There were so many greats and she was a solid skater with deep edges and bankable perfect jumps. As an eligible, she gave us many great competitive skates. She had a style that was more agressive, more powerful than Kristi who was more a float over the ice skater.
Michelle had those deeper, slower, long edges. Shizuka has those georgeous edges and is not a speed around the rink skater. I can enjoy the purity of her skating.
Nagano showcased three of the most elegant Ladies Skaters for me. Tara, who still hadn't peaked skated maturely, with amazing finesse for a 15 year old. Her technical content made it exciting. Her LP was flawless. Lu Chen, the real lady of the event skated a beautiful and moving LP. I would have given gold to see her. Memorable down to the perfect costume and exquisitely beautiful face.
Kristi Yamaguchi was an awesome show skater besides her amateur career. SOI gave her time to do every style, every kind of music, every beautiful costume while keeping her technical content so high. With the perfect little figure and total grace she must be the most elegant skater in history. Light and Lithe. I think only Yuka Sato could compete with her during those years. Yuka's soft knees and edges make every jump seem effortless. She was not as exciting as Kristi but did mature into a skater who could perform various styles. Katia Gordeeva did not need the jumps to keep me watching. She is elegance personified and in her youth the beautiful woman and ballerina skater that I see now in Ice dancer Tessa Virtue. All these women had the total package. The beautiful bodies, so petite but heathy looking.
Oksana Baiul's great skating was limited by her focus but I had never seen anything like her Swan Lake SP in Lillehammer. Her LP was not as good but gave us the chance to see Kerrigan perform a flawless, demanding LP in that Vera Wang creation. I was amazed at her skating and her Irish beauty.
While I wish I could have seen Witt perform her Carmen, I was always more impressed with the beautiful Roz Sumners as she matured on Stars on Ice. She really surpassed Witt and though she did more doubles, her skating, her everything was georgeous. Spins were so beautiful and fast. I miss seeing those high speed scratch spins.
I also found the mature Karyn Cadavy as elegant as any woman before or since. Lucinda Ruh is another golden era skater I could watch for hours. The triple jumps are not needed at all.
Janet Lynn, bouncy/joyous, the edges, so pretty. And beautiful was defined by the mature Dorothy Hamill. Her posture, carriage, stroking was magestic. None of the current ladies skate like these women, though we see shades in Rochette and potential in Nagasu. CoP being the reason, I guess.
Though not a great competitor and one who fell a lot, the most perfect pristine skater for me for a decade now has been Sasha Cohen. The falls mar the effect but for technique, this tiny dancer is without peer. When upright, every position is perfect and every one has stolen her spirals/spins/gestures. Everyone seems to emulate Sasha. Perhaps her jumping problems and competition jitters kept her humbler. She would have been unbeatable as an amateur had she not fallen from nerves. Alissa has this kind of extraordinary skating but I can't watch her compete. I hope she gets a chance to grow in SOI.
Despite the achievements like medals won, numerically high scores, I hope Asada and Kim should they continue, really watch the incredibly elegant women who came before. I know Asada can skate with more elan than this seasons unfortunate choices forced upon her. Yu-na can still learn so much from the ladies in this thread. I hope her coach will push her to become a better all around skater and will work on the areas where she needs much improvement. Sadly, these inflated scores under CoP won't convince her or Mao to work on the elegance that only Jo Ro demonstrates at times. These packed programs are really hindering Mao/YuNa from using the beautiful skills that Shizuka showed in her skating. There are so many elegant skaters not on this list. It isn't about titles for me. It's about line, technique, fluidity, flow across the ice. It's about beautiful skating.
The one skater who generated great excitement with speed and jumps was very flawed but I'd pay to have seen the mature Irina who worked very hard on presentation. I was not a huge Hughes fan as she was very gangly and though I appreciated her layback and great SLC performance, we did not get to see her mature, stay in shape and compete much after the olympics. She was a great technical skater but lacked the elegance of these other young women. I ubderstand why she left but she is an unfinished Oly gold skater for me.
Having missed most of the last three years of competitions, I'm thrilled with the technical content of Yu-na /Mao but a little surprised at all the hyperbole. The uberscores and gushing commentators I find a bit humorous. Orser should apply the standards he skated to towards his own pupils and I hope Mao finds her way back to a more pleasant, all around elegant skater to watch. I don't need all the triple axels. She is a lady and that was a program showing mainly how powerfully strong she is. Powerful skating is beautiful skating. These are just my opinions. So please don't tell me what to enjoy and I won't quibble with your tastes. Feel free to disagree with detachment. Only that makes "taste" discussions possible.
After watching Vancouver/Worlds, I find myself wishing for a better judging system as this racking up points thing is not bringing out the best, at least in the ladies where we have so many beautiful skaters to remember. Vancouver was a good olympics with history made, but INO not the best skating.