If only every American man skated like John Curry, Jeremy Abbott, Matt Savoie, and Ryan Jahnke, then yes, USA would rule along with Russia. The US men who have claimed gold in recent history with the exception of Brian Boitano have been very lackluster in quality, IMO.
Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-21-2010 at 06:59 PM.
For some reason the U.S. has produced a lot of male skaters who thought of themselves as athlete-entertainers rather than athlete-artists. Scott Hamilton, Michael Weiss, Christopher Bowman, Lysacek -- I would put Rudy Galindo and Todd Eldredge in that category, too, maybe even Weir.
I liked Kulik - but he is sort of like a Tara or Sarah - a skater with one big moment and not many other notable titles to speak of. A nice Pro career though.
I do think Yagudin was the most impressive of the Russians and at his best he would beat the others.
Here he is in Nagano, only 17 and sick with the flu. Still, his quality is easy to see even on an off-night.
BTW, Elvis not only had the injured leg, but he was also sick with the flu the night he skated in Nagano. Never my favorite skater, but he was an impressive competitor.
Last edited by janetfan; 05-21-2010 at 06:36 PM.
My problem in giving allocades to Russian Skaters is that there doesn't seem (to me) much diversity. There is a certain Russian formula which they all have. and it doesn't overwhelm me. They are more sport skaters than performance skaters. Among the Men, how many different styles does one see?. They all look alike.
There is no Daisuke and Nobunari, no Buttle and Stoyko, no Amodio and Joubert, no Lysacek and Weir.
However, that Russian formula does produce good technicians.
As for Kulic, when he decided to reside in America, he realized he needed variety and that he has now.
Certainly few people if any live up to Curry. But that's what an immortal is--someone whose achievements can almost never be equalled. So Curry's just living up to his description, because no one else can live up to him. We were lucky even to have one skater like that!
I'm looking forward to watching the Yagudin link you posted.
Not so much growth MM re Kulik. Watch Nagano, watch any pro skate. He is a very inventive choreographer, that's true enough. Kulik was a pure jumper but his skating style didn't mature greatly. I think his posture and arms /upper body are very much the same. I think of Kurt, Wylie, Eldridge, Weiss even and see improvement in SOI years. His recent skates in the Asian shows were nothing special. I think he was a bit egotistical to always want to do his own choreo and not seek out the best choreographers. Urmanov is my least favorite Russian skater so I can't say he had a great am or pro career. Hated every costume I can remember. Yecch! I think Petrenko is underrated. Many wonderful show programs. His MJ in person was phenomenal.
Yuka became more sublime, but she is very much a classical skater. Kristi could do anything to any music. I saw little of her DWTS but knew she'd win as she is a great dancer. I don't think there was anyone who compared to her as a pro. I think she is probably our best American skater to date. I know KWAN got all the competitive titles but she never developed the versatility of Kristi because she stayed in the comp. world her whole career. I can't think of another skater who kept her jumps like Kristi and who grew by leaps as an artist/performer/entertainer. She did do everything possible. What a lucky woman and what a career. I think Kristi is in a league of her own as she chose to stay skating a very long time and worked very hard to show such versatility.
Last edited by princess9; 05-22-2010 at 03:27 PM.