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Thread: Rank the 1 time World or Olympic Champions

  1. #1
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    Rank the 1 time World or Olympic Champions

    How would you rank the skaters who won only 1 World or Olympic title. Here would be mine as I will try to stick with somewhat recent.

    Pairs:

    1. Underhill & Martini- went on to a legendary professional career, proving their quality.
    Many felt were robbed of the 83 World title as well.

    2. Brasseur & Eisler- were near the top and always a major threat in a very tough era with Gordeeva & Grinkov, Miskutienok & Dmitriev, and Bechke & Petrov.

    3. Petrova & Tikhonov- incredible longevity and consistency over the years. 8 straight top 4 finishes at Worlds.

    4. Baess & Thierbach- powerful and technically strong pair who were battling for the top spot in the early 80s

    5. Kazahkova & Dmitirev- I guess they were good but they never really did much for me. Objectively speaking they are better than Shishkova & Naumov and Kovarikova & Novotny probably despite that their amateur achievements arent that bountiful outside their Oly Gold and that I preferred the other two. Never won Worlds or the GP final, won Europeans once, maybe I am overranking them.

    6. Shishkova & Naumov- very consistent and smooth pair who had bad luck being stuck being other Russian greats and then with injuries and other issues after their breakthrough.

    7. Kovarikova & Novotny- a beautiful pair always hampered by consistency problems, winning their one World title in a controversial decision over Shishkova & Naumov with a flawed performance.

    8. Babilonia & Gardner- elegant and beautiful pair who missed out on atleast an Olympic silver due to injury. Werent really near the top very long though and probably lucky Rodnina missed Worlds the year they won.

    9. Eltsova & Bushkov- zzzzzzzz

    10. Woetzel & Steuer- more interesting than Eltsova & Bushkov but fundamentally not as strong a pair.

    11. Cherkasova & Shakhrai- won Worlds after their Olympic silver then quickly faded and soon dissapeared.

    12. Vorobieva & Lisovski- Who?



    Men:

    1. Orser- oh such a crime he won only 1 World title and no Olympic Gold. Merited given the results of each individual event perhaps but sad nonetheless.

    2. Takahashi- by the time he surpasses Orser on my list of these skaters (and I think he will) will have won more than 1 World title anyway most likely.

    3. Kulik- just an incredible skater on a good day. Strange that he never won a World title, should have gone to the one right after the Olympics where he could have won even with mistakes.

    4. Joubert- a long and tremendous career which includes multiple European tirumphs as well, and 3 other World silvers. Would have won 2006 Worlds over Lambiel without the Q round. No Olympic medals though.

    5. Urmanov- like Kulik he rarely put it all together but when he did he was virtually unbeatable.

    6. Buttle- just on his sheer artistry and overall quality alone. Also did win an Olympic medal and a couple other noteable international medals. Very inconsistent in his jumping though. I put him below the other 5 since I cant really say he should have won another World or Olympic event based on the years he did actually compete, while the ones above I feel all should have given their chances and abilities during their competitive careers. However on the other hand had Buttle contined he would have had a real opportunity to win again in hindsight, so he missed out in that sense.

    7. Fadeev- Won a World title during the Orser/Boitano era and was close to winning a couple of others. Missed huge chances of winning 86 and 89 World titles. Blew chances to medal at both 84 and 88 Games too. I guess as far as how strong a potential factor he was he should be over Buttle and some of those I listed. However I listed him here since his skating wasnt really that memorable and with his inconsistency he is all but forgotten today. There isnt anything that he really left his mark with.

    8. Eldredge- Good skater but not up to the level of Stojko, Urmanov, and Kulik, hence only winning 1 World title, no Grand Prix final, and no Olympic medal. Still a fairly complete skater and good consistency and longevity throughout his career despite jumping power and skating not quite up with the big guns. 6 World medals is impressive. He is more remembered than Fadeev but mainly only due to being American and on Stars on Ice.

    9. Tickner- Not many people today would even remember he won Worlds. Usually overshadowed by the likes of Kovalev (figures specialist), Hoffman (figures and free skating jumping specialist), and Cousins (free skating master). Surprise he won Worlds.
    Olympic bronze in 1980 too.

    10. Volkov- what an atrocity he somehow won Worlds.



    Ladies:

    1. Midori Ito- just an incredible skater, the greatest female jumper ever still today probably. Just huge doses of bad luck and bad timing for her to have only won 1 Worlds and no Olympics.

    2. Denise Biellmann- amazing skater who could have been the skater of the 80s had she stayed in and could have won the 1980 Olympics without figures. Even many years later was still doing kickass triples, jaw dropping spins, and a diverse range of artistic programs.

    3. Lu Chen- one of the most artistic and complete skaters of all time who would have won more if she wasnt from China. Arguably skated well enough to win the 93 Worlds, 94 Olympics, and 96 Worlds as well, or atleast be in contention to.

    4. Debi Thomas- terrific technical skater and athlete with strong figures, excellent basic skating and line, and her own bold form of artistry. Was part of that famous rivalry with the great Witt. Often let her nerves get the best of her under pressure though, especialy in Calgary.

    5. Rosalynn Sumners- traditional but beautiful artistic skater who narrowly missed becoming an Olympic Champion.

    6. Karen Magnussen- consistent and solid performer who was overshadowed by Schuba's figures rampage to title and the beauty and popularity of Lynn's exquisite free skating.

    7. Yuka Sato- it is hard to rate her since she became a much better pro skater than amateur. I am bumping her well up on my list based on her pro career. Amateur career was mostly unremarkable, was a moderate medal contender in Lillehammer and blew it in the short program. Won World title with a sort of asterix with the 3 Olympic medalists all out. That was her only World medal. A skaters skater known for having no real weakness and excellent basic skating, speed, and footwork. Didnt really have the jumps of the other top women as an amateur though, nor much of an artistic identity.

    8. Elaine Zayak- a trailblazer for women in triple jumping. Probably started the women doing a greater variety of triples sooner than ever with her ability to do so many triples, even if almost all triple toes. Career fizzled out somewhat after Zayak rule was introduced.

    9. Maria Butyrskaya- not one of the more memorable World Champions. Won in a weak transition year for womens skating, then fell back to being a second tier contender again within 2 years. Never was really a contender to win any other year other than 2000 the year after, so not like she had many chances to win unlike some of the others either. Only real chance for an Olympic medal was 98 (a bronze) and didnt quite make it either.

    10. Sarah Hughes- I rate her behind Maria just because Sarah only won 2 international events ever, and Maria's longevity in the sport.

    11. Miki Ando- sorry I just dont like her skating. And it isnt like she is anymore accomplished than Maria or Sarah either. And while she probably has been more of a threat over the years than Maria and Sarah she is in a similar situation to Maria and Sarah in a sense. Each usually does best when better skaters fall on their butts, if they can happen to even keep their own off the ice.

    12. Diane DeLeeuw-

    13. Christine Errat- How did Hamill not end up winning all the World titles in this period?

    14. Kimmie Meissner- I love Kimmie but lets be honest here. The girl caught lightning in a bottle.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 11-09-2010 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    I love Ilia Kulik and he's probably the only skater I'd actually tolerate a jump-fest style program from, but I don't think it's strange at all that he never won a world title. Ilia was incredibly talented but he clearly was not a skater who lived for the thrill of competition and was also not known for his stellar work ethic. Besides, he was kind of headcase-y and really only kept it together for one season--1997-1998.

    If I were ranking* the men, I'd put it as:
    1) Orser - like his compatriot Toller Cranston, Orser was felled by figures--such a pity
    2) Takahashi - probably will get another World title
    3) Kulik - incredibly beautiful jumps and immensely talented but headcase, problem w/ nerves, etc
    4) Urmanov - talented but had v. bad luck; probably could've won 97 Worlds if not for injury
    5) Buttle - jumping issues but a truly all-around skater with great David Wilson choreography
    6) Joubert - jump, jump, jump--but saved by his good competition results
    7) Eldredge - I found his skating fairly pedestrian and his programs extremely predictable
    8) Fadeev - not v. memorable, definitely over-shadowed by Orser and Boitano
    9) Tickner - who?
    10) Volkov - who?


    *on a rather nebulous scale based on competition results and talent mixed in with a large dose of personal preference
    Last edited by evangeline; 11-09-2010 at 05:55 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the analysis! I would also put Underhill and Martini at the top, largely because of what they revealed in their pro career. To this day they remain one of my favorite pairs. There's a swing and flow to their movements that takes them beyond mere skating. I'd have put Yuka higher, but you're right, she didn't have grand achievements as an amateur. Like Underhill and Martini, though, she's one of my favorites ever in her discipline. Her footwork was at or near the all-time top among ladies, and now she does pairs as well. I love to watch her. But putting Ito at the top of your list is I think pretty indisputable.

    Oh, golly, I remember Cherkasova and Shakrai. The minute she grew to person-size, as opposed to child-size (wasn't she twelve or thirteen their first year as seniors?), the couple's edge over everyone else evaporated. I felt sorry for her. I preferred Baess and Thierbach, who were at about the same time, and were a stylish pair.

    The great thing about people who get the chance to stay in skating (either with a long eligible career or as pros) is that we get to see how they grow and how their skills ripen. So I tend to prefer skaters with a longer career for that reason. But a lifetime is skating isn't for everyone, and someone like Debi Thomas deserves to be remembered for what she did on a particular day, as you say.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evangeline View Post
    I love Ilia Kulik and he's probably the only skater I'd actually tolerate a jump-fest style program from, but I don't think it's strange at all that he never won a world title. Ilia was incredibly talented but he clearly was not a skater who lived for the thrill of competition and was also not known for his stellar work ethic. Besides, he was kind of headcase-y and really only kept it together for one season--1997-1998.
    Well, at least Ilia won the silver medal in 1996... I have always thought that

    - Worlds 1995, the long season probably got to him. He had competed in Junior competitions (won the Junior Worlds) and in seniors won the Europeans
    - Worlds 1996, he unfortunately skated his best in Centennial on Ice
    - 1997 Worlds, he had been coached by Tarasova since summer 1996 and she had created for him an unskateable freeskate Romeo&Juliet. A beautiful but way too busy programme, LOL.

    Besides, one could get the impression that Russians did not believe in run-throughs. Ilia often had problems with his freeskate, lack of stamina.

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    Ilia also would have won easily in 98 had he simply shown up. I have no idea why he didnt, that was a free World title basically.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Ilia also would have won easily in 98 had he simply shown up. I have no idea why he didnt, that was a free World title basically.
    He suffered from back injury, as far as I remember.

  7. #7
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    Orser- oh such a crime he won only 1 World title and no Olympic Gold. Merited given the results of each individual event perhaps but sad nonetheless.

    I would have loved to see him win more than one World title (and Olympic gold), too!


    pangtongfan, I'd give Todd more credit than that, and not because he's an American and in SOI. The World medals are medals from international competitions. I consider him right up there with the "big guns." I just wish he didn't have to compete in an era when the quad was touted as the end all in men's figure skating. Too bad things didn't work out for him at the Olympics (especially in 1998, but I will say the same for Kurt's Olympic experiences). He has been quite consistent otherwise, and I am grateful for his longevity in the sport.

    Yay for Yuka, especially as a pro skater! Ditto for Ilia!

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