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Thread: What country can lay claim to best male singles dynasty?

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    What country can lay claim to best male singles dynasty?

    I was wondering why Canada does not have a tradition of golden ladies given the many great skaters in all 4 fields? This is especially contrasted with their success and the quality of the men. I don't think mens skating in any other country gets as good as Canada, but I may be wrong.

    There are many great Canadian men, but these are the ones I know of and am so impressed with.

    I'll just mention the names that come first to mind: Toller Cranston, Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Jeffrey Buttle and now Patrick Chan. I'm not Canadian so if there are wonderful others on youtube, please name some. These men, despite medals won have given so many incredible skates. Buttle left way too soon for me but he was so good I feel he's in with the rest. I enjoyed each for different reasons and if I had to pick the best male ever with longevity I guess it would be Kurt Browning. But then there was the great Yagudin but he did not have the longevity/pro career and his injuries cut his skating life short. Hmm The Russians have those golds. I may be all wrong here.

    Well anyway, our own version of Ice Wars In mens I'd give Canada the gold.

    Maybe others feel the USA is the powerhouse in mrns, others Russia/former Soviet Union.
    Last edited by princess9; 05-17-2010 at 05:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by princess9 View Post
    I was wondering why Canada does not have a tradition of golden ladies given the many great skaters in all 4 fields? This is especially contrasted with their success and the quality of the men. I don't think mens skating in any other country gets as good as Canada, but I may be wrong.

    There are many great Canadian men, but these are the ones I know of and am so impressed with.

    I'll just mention the names that come first to mind: Toller Cranston, Brian Orser, Kurt Browning, Elvis Stojko, Jeffrey Buttle and now Patrick Chan. I'm not Canadian so if there are wonderful others on youtube, please name some. These men, despite medals won have given so many incredible skates. Buttle left way too soon for me but he was so good I feel he's in with the rest. I enjoyed each for different reasons and if I had to pick the best male ever with longevity I guess it would be Kurt Browning. But then there was the great Yagudin but he did not have the longevity/pro career and his injuries cut his skating life short. Hmm The Russians have those golds. I may be all wrong here.

    Well anyway, our own version of Ice Wars In mens I'd give Canada the gold.

    Maybe others feel the USA is the powerhouse in mrns, others Russia/former Soviet Union.
    You left out former Canadian World Champion Donald Jackson - the first skater to ever land a triple lutz at Worlds. Watch his lutz and the rest.......he was a wonderful skater.

    Look closely in the audience and you will see young Joesitz - the one with binoculars checking out Jackson's edge - long before anyone else ever thought about such things.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alrsemq_mzQ
    Last edited by janetfan; 05-17-2010 at 06:15 PM.

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    I would emphasize rather the quality of skaters than quantity of them, so I´d say Russia / Soviet Union.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonya View Post
    I would emphasize rather the quality of skaters than quantity of them, so I´d say Russia / Soviet Union.
    So what skaters and what qualities Rhonya?

    Wow, Janetfan, Donald Jackson's very big triple lutz. And those edges and stroking and blurred scratch spins that now see past tense with packed programs. I enjoy how the men used to dress, too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhonya View Post
    I would emphasize rather the quality of skaters than quantity of them, so I´d say Russia / Soviet Union.
    Good point - and some might emphasize the innovators, the first to land the big jumps and to introduce new styles. In the modern era the Canadians have an edge there in my book.

    The Russian were great for a few cycles but if we want to get cheesy and count which federation's Men have won the most Olympic Gold medals in the modern era - that goes to USA Men with seven.

    USA has the last man to win back to back OGM's and also the only brothers to ever win the OGM.

    Looking back in time the Germans and Swedes had great skaters and the Germans and Austrians had great champions into the modern era.
    Last edited by janetfan; 05-17-2010 at 06:53 PM.

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    I'd say it's a competition between Russia, Canada and the U.S. For Canada, wasn't it also a Canadian, Vern Taylor (IIRC) who landed the first ever triple axel? We've had a number of first-lutz, axel, quad, quad in combo, quad-triple. I think we had another Donald around the time of Don Jackson, but the name escapes me.

    The U.S. has had many power houses. Button won two OGM, Hamilton, Boitano, and Lysacek have won the OGM. Lots of other world and Olympic medallists-Weir, Goebel, Weiss, Eldredge are recent ones that come to mind. Did Bowman win a world medal? Galindo won a bronze, didn't he? I can't remember if Charlie Tickner had any world medals.

    Russia dominated quite a bit over the 90s and 2000s. OGM by Urmanov, Kulik, Yagudin and Plushenko. Petrenko competed for the Unified Team in 92. Not sure if they had much history before then. I do remember Alexander Fadeev, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antilles View Post
    I'd say it's a competition between Russia, Canada and the U.S. For Canada, wasn't it also a Canadian, Vern Taylor (IIRC) who landed the first ever triple axel? We've had a number of first-lutz, axel, quad, quad in combo, quad-triple. I think we had another Donald around the time of Don Jackson, but the name escapes me.

    The U.S. has had many power houses. Button won two OGM, Hamilton, Boitano, and Lysacek have won the OGM. Lots of other world and Olympic medallists-Weir, Goebel, Weiss, Eldredge are recent ones that come to mind. Did Bowman win a world medal? Galindo won a bronze, didn't he? I can't remember if Charlie Tickner had any world medals.

    Russia dominated quite a bit over the 90s and 2000s. OGM by Urmanov, Kulik, Yagudin and Plushenko. Petrenko competed for the Unified Team in 92. Not sure if they had much history before then. I do remember Alexander Fadeev, though.
    The success of the great Russian Men has come only recently considering skating's long history.
    In the modern era the Russian Pairs have built a legacy that will never be matched. The Russian Dance teams have been dynastic as well. Surprisingly the Russian Ladies have never come anywhere near close to matching the Men or Teams.

    Am curious - were Soviet skaters competing before WW2?

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    Off the top of my head, I think the Soviet Union showed up in the Olympics very late--the 1950s, I think.

    I'd say it's a toss-up among the Russians/old Soviet Union, Canada, and the U.S. for men. You could argue endlessly for each country's contribution (and I hope we will, because I always learn so much!), but all three countries have really dominated men's skating since World War II. (Before then, it was pretty much exclusively continental Europe, I think: Austria, Scandinavia, Germany.) My three favorite skaters of all come from all three of the countries in question: Browning from Canada, Wylie from the U.S., and Yagudin from Russia. So I'm feeling pretty symmetrical about the answer to this question.

    A fourth fave of mine comes from the up-and-coming men's power: Takahashi of Japan. I must also mention someone I place above all listings: John Curry of Britain. The Brits contributed only two supreme skaters that I can recall, but since they were Curry and Robin Cousins, they are the equivalent to about five or ten skaters from any other country.

    By the way, JF: thanks for the link to Donald Jackson! Years ago, during the early years of pro competition (had to be the eighties), Jackson actually came out of retirement to compete a few times as I recall. He still looked pretty sharp. It was interesting to see the old style that he embodied, holding the landing position for a few beats after each jump.
    Last edited by Olympia; 05-17-2010 at 08:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antilles View Post
    Russia dominated quite a bit over the 90s and 2000s. OGM by Urmanov, Kulik, Yagudin and Plushenko. Petrenko competed for the Unified Team in 92. Not sure if they had much history before then. I do remember Alexander Fadeev, though.
    In the 70s Vladimir Kovalev won five World medals (two gold, two silver, bronze) and -76 Olympic silver, but before that, there´s not much to tell.

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    I would say Russia, The US and Canada. Historically, maybe Canada and the US have been better although I don't know all the stats or remember all the people way back when so I can't really choose who is the BEST there. Russia's dominance is more recent.. I think Russia takes the cake for the last 20 years or so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    By the way, JF: thanks for the link to Donald Jackson! Years ago, during the early years of pro competition (had to be the eighties), Jackson actually came out of retirement to compete a few times as I recall. He still looked pretty sharp. It was interesting to see the old style that he embodied, holding the landing position for a few beats after each jump.
    I know you love music so thought it is of interest that besides showing the first 3Lz, was Don Jackson also the first to skate to "Carmen"

    Any clips using Carmen before 1962 greatly appreciated!

    This was 1962 and the WC's that had been cancelled a year earlier returned to Prague.
    That is a very young Button along with Jim McKay doing the commentary.

    Jackson's free skate is considered one of the greatest in history. The style is from a different era, and we begin to see it change in '68 with Peggy Fleming. In the 70's Janet and Toller began showing the skating we know today with much more expression and full use of the body to interpret the music.

    Carmen is still with us (lucky me - I love it )

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    Quote Originally Posted by janetfan View Post
    Am curious - were Soviet skaters competing before WW2?
    No. I believe the Soviet Uion joined the ISU in 1958. This was the first year that they sent skaters to Worlds. They did participate in the 1956 Winter Olympics, but not in figure skating. 1960 was their first winter Olys in figure skating.

    There were a few Russian skaters in the very early days. The most notable was Nikolai Panin, who won the Olympic gold medal in Special Figures (the only time there were separate medals for figures and free skating.) In the very first world championship Russian skaters finished third and fourth (out of four competitors.)

    Panin won silver in the 1903 World Championships. losing to Ulrich Salchow. But he refused to compete in any more ISU events because of those lyin', cheatin', conivin' Swedish judges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Panin won silver in the 1903 World Championships. losing to Ulrich Salchow. But he refused to compete in any more ISU events because of those lyin', cheatin', conivin' Swedish judges.
    So I guess he went back home and told the Russians if you want to win in skating then you must learn to cheat. And the seed was sown,
    Last edited by janetfan; 05-17-2010 at 09:24 PM.

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    How amazing the Donald Jackson free skate is. Look at his speed in the air during his turns!

    I was amused to notice that one of the commentaries below the video asked, "Would someone tell me if this is real?" That commentator, like us, was clearly wowed by Jackson's forceful precision.

    I don't know whether anyone before Jackson ever skated to Carmen. That's a mystery worth solving!

    One interesting thing I've noticed is that "early" skates--before Curry and Cranston--tended to use several pieces of music from different, often completely unrelated works. For example, even Janet Lynn's famous 1970 "Afternoon of a Faun" long program only used the Debussy music for a minute or so. It then changed to Franz Liszt's Mazeppa (if I'm not mistaken) and then to something from French ballet, possibly Giselle. It finished with Beethoven. Changing pieces so drastically was how the problem of different tempo needs was solved. The idea of skating to a single, sustained piece of music, or at least several works by the same composer, does not seem to have arrived until later. I suspect Curry had a lot to do with it. in his 1976 Olympic long program, he skated to different cuts from the ballet Don Quixote, which changed tempo but were linked by being from the same work. At the same time, I think Cranston was also using the music in a more sophisticated way. He went with Shostokovich for his Olympic long program, as I recall.

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    Right now? I'd lean towards Canada? Why - to be egalitarian. Russia/Soviet Union is the obvious dynasty in pairs and dance; USA is the main candidate for the ladies, so I'll give men to Canada. Depth in technical achievements and artistic ones, promising future as well.

    But if Canada's future is promising, then USA and Japan are scary crazy awesome in terms of potential

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