How would you describe an ELITE skater of today?
I think an elite skater or couples skater of today is one who has been in several competitions and has proven themselves to be podium potential by talent and not by luck.
There are many competitors in each comp but only a few are elite. Those skaters are the ones challenging for podium positions. The others, and the newbies, should be reviewed as potential.
Off the bat, I would say Joubert is still an elite skater, but I would not say Fumie is. Of course, Fumie at one time was an elite skater.
Todays batch who did not retire after the Olys, and still considered to be ELITE: in addition to Joubert, would be Takahashi, Abbott, Chan, Kozuka, Plushenko(?); and for the Ladies: Kostner, Asada, Lepisto, Leonova, Kim.
For Pairs there would be: Pang and Tong, Dube/Davison, Savchenko/Szolkowy, Kavaguti/Smirnov, and maybe Zhang/Zhang.
For Ice Dance, there is Davis/White, Cappelini/LaNotte, the Shibutanis, Pechalat/Borzat, The Kerrs, Virtue/Moir(?)
There are many fine CHALLENGERS not yet Elite. Will there be changes after the Worlds?
I would not consider Leonova elite by any means, or the Shibutanis (they've only just burst onto the senior scene!)
If the part of the equation as stated by the topic is "talent" I might think of several Ladies with more talent than Leonova.
But there are different types of talent.
Even many of Evan's detractors might admit he has a talent for competing. I mention competitive abilty because that along with talent/skill is part of what gets a skater onto podiums.
Miki is one to consider. She has proven again and again that she has the necessary talent and competitive abilty to make GP podiums. She was also World champion and has a WBM.
Consistency - part of competitive abilty - plays a role. Rachael Flatt has shown a degree of consistency and I would also consider her an above average competitor.
An interesting question but depending how one views it not so easy to answer.
Mirai appears to have alot of talent but so far as a senior has not shown the consistency to win Intl senior medals.
What if we look at it this way: is a clean Mirai going to beat a clean Lepisto?
Caro is an interesting skater to consider. Clean she is undoubtably an elite skater judging by talent and skill. As a competitor, her consistency has not been good enough to win medals equal to her talent level.
Alissa is another one - we saw her almost clean at SC and her score was decent. If someone asked me who has more talent, Alena or Alissa I would answer Alissa. But that might just be nationalism or my preference for more lyrical skating.
If I thought about Tomas and Jeremy it would be tougher. Both have terrific qualities and are very talented. They should always be on podiums or challenging for them. But too often they are not. Is it their talent/skill level or is it their abilty to compete?
Wicked Yankee Girl
Shibutanis should be off the ice dance list. So should Capellini LaNotte, at least for now. Faiella & Scali should be on it. So should Crone/Poirier.
On the up and comers list, include Shibutanis, Chock/Zuerlein, Paul/Islam, Weaver/Pojel, Bobrova/Soloviev, Monko/Khaliavin and Ilinykh & Katsapalov.
On the ? list:
Virtue / Moir, depending only on whether they decide to compete or not
Capellini/Lanotte, depending on whatever is causing the upheaval that caused them to do so badly at NHK, quit their coaches in France, and move back to Italy, and whether they decide to continue competing.
LOL, all except two teams at the GPF in pairs don't quailfy. Most of those teams medaled because the elite skaters of worlds last year are either injured or can't skate yet. Worlds 2011 will be a wake up callfor all those teams who thought they were getting good vs getting lucky.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
I'd say that today Oda is more of an elite skater than Joubert. I don't see any Kwans or Yu Na Kim's among the list of ladies. Asada has been there but is she still? To me an elite skater is someone who will still be remembered & talked about 15 or 20 years from now. And someone who is competitive with that Olympic champ but not quite at their level, I'd say they are elite too. Elite skaters contribute to the sport & are not to be found among those who consistently have a fall or have poor technique/poor style. Think John Curry/Toller Cranston. Curry the great champion artist & Cranston the great innovator/stylist.
To answer the original question (i.e. How would you describe an ELITE skater of today?), I have one answer:
They must be part of the last group to skate, simple as that.
Seriously, there's a HUGE difference between the last group and everyone else. And to be perfectly honest, blunt, I would prefer to see the last group to skate and nothing else. It would save me the slight boredom of having to watch the other groups.
Even at the 2010 Olympics, me & my baby niece were getting a little bored and almost fell asleep watching the first couple of groups.
Omg, and then when the final group appeared, it is indescribable. Nothing compares to that. They are far & away thee E-L-I-T-E.
Have the definition of elite skater changed from before? I thought elite means you're among the top ten and have consistently medaled in the last few years.
leave no stone unturned
I thought everyone who arrives in a competition is an elite skater, at least in his country! With some exceptions I always enjoy the first groups, at Euros at least I saw them all, and if you dont know the detailed rules (me for ice dance) everyone looked wonderful
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
I always think of elite skaters as the podium contenders and the almost-contenders, esp. the young ones who are expected to be contenders soon. Miki88's definition and Nadine's work too.
It's a hopeless effort to try to pin down such a subjective, social word. The elite are those who move in a certain world and live a lifestyle that the rest don't, i.e. the podium or its near vicinity! As Seniorita says, all who compete in the top competition are part of that world and share that lifestyle too.
A skater who has medaled at Worlds. As a result, he/she probably ends up with a significant score boost, particularly in the PCS, the socalled "reputation points", which can sometimes be insurmountable. Judges probably do weigh a skater’s presentation skills in factoring the PCS but probably no more than a couple of points. I think it's mostly reputation. It’s really no coincidence that the highest PCS earners this season are all former/current Worlds medalists---notably Takahashi, Chan, Kostner, Ando etc
As much as I love and adore him, I do not think Jeremy really should be considered elite. We'll see how he does this season, but I think you're missing an important factor for determining "talent and not by luck": his mental skills as a competitor. He is still a big question mark in that regard, I think, especially in the eyes of the judges, as unfair as that is. In the same way, I think Oda deserves to be on the list of the "elite" for men. Even without a world medal, he's been much more consistent as an international competitor than Jeremy has.
Shibutanis are challengers, not elite, and Faiella/Scali should be considered "elite" - maybe second-tier elite, but everyone who isn't V/M and D/W is either second-tier or only a challenger at this point. They are just far and away so much better than the competition.
In ladies, the only true elites are Yu-Na (assuming she will stick to her word and show up at Worlds this year), Miki (love her or hate her), and Mao if she is successful in getting her jumps back, whether she reworks the technique or not. Maybe Joannie, if she keeps competing.
Which two teams?
Originally Posted by mousepotato
Pang/Tong and Savchenko/Szolkowy. Everyone else in the GPF will have made it because 4 of the top six (or 5 of 7) teams from last season aren't competing. Though I think Barazova/Larionov might have made it on tie-break.
Last edited by ImaginaryPogue; 11-07-2010 at 10:35 PM.
This is the closest to my thought. I thought elite skaters are those who compete at the national level and international level competitions.
Originally Posted by seniorita