View Poll Results: Who was the best - Sasha Cohen or Shizuka Arakawa?

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  • Sasha Cohen

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Thread: Who was the best - Sasha Cohen or Shizuka Arakawa?

  1. #1
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    Who was the best - Sasha Cohen or Shizuka Arakawa?

    At the 2006 Olympics, Sasha Cohen fell twice in her LP and Shizuka Arakawa went on to win the Olympic title. But what if both of them had skated cleanly in the LP and been at their best that evening - who would have won? Which of them was the better skater?
    Last edited by oksanafan; 03-09-2011 at 01:07 PM.

  2. #2
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    Both had 5 clean triples. Shiz won by a huge margin, and her PCS should be about 10 points higher than Sasha, not 1.5.
    If both had skated cleanly and at their best, Shizuka would break 140, Sasha would be around 130.
    No contest.

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    I don't think Shizuka was even a full point higher than Sasha in PCS, which I completely disagreed with. Yes, both were a bit reserved and neither skated full out, but Shiz was the better skater, more complete skater and made less mistakes. Technically she didn't make any mistakes. Sasha made 3 and it did disrupt the flow of her program, IMO. I sort of felt like Shiz was skating to stay on the podium, not win, while Sasha was skating scared to death she'd lose Gold.

    But even if both (and Irina) had skated their full content clean, I think the podium would've been the same, maybe swap Sasha and Irina, just because I think Irina would've been propped up big time in PCS.

  4. #4
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    the top capability of each skater X the probability of them hitting it

    Shizuka wins, in my eyes. I love Sasha, but I think Shizuka would have had a higher probability of going clean even if she had to turn it up a notch, whereas Sasha doing better than she did had a low probability anyway.

    Who cares about maximum potential if you have a near zero-probability of realistically reaching it?

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    There can be many different forms of clean. A totally clean Kwan would beat a clean Lipinski 90% of the time when they were serious rivals but not at the 98 Olympics.

    However if all 3 of Arakawa, Slutskaya, and Cohen had skated not only cleanly but their best with their max realistic content and overall sureness and performance quality the podium would have been:

    1) Slutskaya or Arakawa
    3) Cohen

    Irina and Shizuka skating their best would destroy even a clean Cohen on TES. Cohen cant come close to their jumping if all 3 are at their best even if she by some miracle stood up all her jumps for once, and they all score very high on their non jump elements if at their best. As for PCS Irina skating her best would probably be gifted bigtime which might be what would give her an undeserved win over Shizuka. Irina and Cohen would both probably be a bit higher in PCS than Shizuka, but all 3 would be quite close.

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    The Future Mrs. Evan Lysacek #1Kerryfan's Avatar
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    Well, Shizuka was the technical skater and Sasha was the artistic skater. I think Shizuka probably still would have won if they both skated cleanly because she had a more difficult program.

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    In ideal fantasy world, if all three goes clean...it will be Shizuka, Irina, Cohen.....base on their jumps layout alone. Shizuka has 3 triples, including 3Lz and 3 jumps combo for bonus mark. Irina has easier jumps no big combo. Same with Cohen, also who did a 3-3 sequece and it reduce the base mark by 10% by 2 of her jumps.

    Shizuka
    3Lz+2Lo
    3S+3T
    3S
    2A
    x 3Lz
    x 3Lo
    x 3S+2T+2Lo

    Irina
    3Lz+2T
    3S+2T+2Lo or (3S+3Lo+2Lo like in COR)
    3F
    3F+2T
    x 3Lo
    x 2A
    x 3T

    Cohen
    3Lz+2T+2Lo (planned)
    3F+2T
    3Lo
    3F
    x 3S-3T seq
    x 2A
    x 3S

    In terms of PCS mark, it will be Shizuka, Cohen and Irina.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlattFan View Post
    Both had 5 clean triples. Shiz won by a huge margin, and her PCS should be about 10 points higher than Sasha, not 1.5.
    If both had skated cleanly and at their best, Shizuka would break 140, Sasha would be around 130.
    No contest.
    Cohen's two falls were in the first 30 seconds of her free. This left her in shock and her whole program ended up a mess. That's why SA outscored her in practically every element. But that's not what you look at when assessing who would have won if they had both skated to their full potential. The best guide to that is what happened in the short. In the short, both performed at there very best and Cohen won. Hence, I think that had both performed at there best in the free, Cohen would have won that as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mao88 View Post
    Cohen's two falls were in the first 30 seconds of her free. This left her in shock and her whole program ended up a mess. That's why SA outscored her in practically every element. But that's not what you look at when assessing who would have won if they had both skated to their full potential. The best guide to that is what happened in the short. In the short, both performed at there very best and Cohen won. Hence, I think that had both performed at there best in the free, Cohen would have won that as well.
    Cohen's program was not a mess after the fall and the near fall (keep in mind the second miss was not counted as a fall by the judges even if it should have). Most observers felt after those 2 mistakes she skated the best she had ever skated.

    Shizuka is not a great short program skater so beating her in the short is no big deal. When she won her World title in 2004 many felt she should have been 5th or 6th in the short. She is similar to Lu Chen who also will never win a short program at a major event but could win the long. And I disagree it was her best, a couple of her elements were shaky. Plus in the long she potentially had a much more difficult program than Sasha with a triple-triple combo or two, and her choreography and overall program was twice as strong as the short which was a bore, basically her old long program cut off a bit. Sasha by contrast is a much better short program skater than long. So if Sasha could barely beat Shizuka (less than a point) in the short, she had almost no chance of beating her in the long. I knew after the short when Shizuka came that close to Sasha and Irina which was a shock since you would expect Irina and Sasha to be well up on Shizuka in that phase, that it was pretty much certain Shizuka would win.

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    Shizuka was overmarked in the SP. One of the things I distinctly remember about that SP was the shock expressed by Simon Reed (Eurosport commentator) at how outrageously high her marks were for that program. For one thing she downgraded her planned 3Lutz 3L combination to a 3Lutz 2T and there were a number of other blemishes. It was said at the time that she didn't even deserve to be ahead of Kimmie. In my view, she should have been at least 5-6 marks behind Sasha and Irina and only got as close as she did because she was a former world champion.

    Much has been said about Shizuka's triple triple combinations. However, most of the time she left them in the practice rink. She did not perform a single one in the LP either, not out of choice, but because as in the SP, she did not have the confidence.

    Shizuka won the Olympic competition because she skated conservatively and made no major mistakes - unlike Sasha and Irina. Had Sasha not had the disastrous start to her program, then that would have left Shizuka with a choice. She could either have skated within herself as she ultimately did and gone for one of the minor medals or she could have gone all out for gold. If she had done the latter, I think the lack of confidence she displayed in the short would have been exposed and she would have made mistakes. Remember, prior to the Olympics she had not had the greatest of seasons.

    Yes, Sasha was not as good technically re her jumps compared to Shizuka and Irina. However, Sasha more than made up for that with her artistry, her spins, her spirals, and everything else. Anybody who seriously tries to suggest that Shizuka and Irina were better with the artistic side of there skating has got to be joking. The real pity about Sasha was that her jumping ability let her down persistently and we never saw her true potential.

    My gut instinct is that if Sasha had skated clean, Shizuka would have still skated conservatively and settled for a minor medal. The lack of confidence she showed with the 3 Lutz 2T in the SP demonstrated to me that she did not have the confidence to do anything more than she actually did in the LP. Had she gone for it, she would have probably cracked (as she had done previously throughout 04/05 and 05/06). As for Irina, I knew her LP was likely to turn out the way it did.

    Nevertheless, Sasha did fall in her LP and she made major mistakes - as she had done in practically every competition she participated in as a senior. Ultimately, therefore, Shizuka deserved to win. Whilst she was overmarked in the SP, her performance overall was the best.

    The greatest tragedy about the 2006 Olympics however is that the best skater at that time was not even allowed to take part - Mao Asada (who had beaten all 3 medalists during the course of the 05/06 season).
    Last edited by oksanafan; 03-10-2011 at 09:44 PM.

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    Remember Shizuka was not clean even with her conservative triple-triple less program. She doubled a triple loop, a major mistake under COP, which probably cost her as many or more points as Sashas 2nd fall/non fall which didnt get the proper deductions (even once factoring in some minor PCS increase). If Shizuka had not doubled the triple loop she probably gets around 130 which is probably higher than Sasha would have gotten even going clean (she got 116 and change as it was). So if Shizuka had skated clean with 6 triples she most likely would have beaten even a clean Sasha with 7.

    And even if you consider Shizuka doing the triple-triples unlikely (and I agree there is a point there) that was still more likely than Sasha skating cleanly. If one wants to suggest it is even possible to consider Sasha skating cleanly, then one certainly should consider Shizuka doing atleast one triple-triple which was more likely than Sasha skating cleanly anyway.

    And the 2nd mark is not just artistry. That is why the name was changed since it did no accurately reflect all the 2nd mark encompasses. It is about a variety of things, amongst them overall skating skills, which Sasha is far inferior to Shizuka and even Slutskaya in. Sasha was actually lucky her skating skill marks were as high as they were since if the judges were marking them correctly she would be well below many of her top competitors in that category. In fact none of the PC categories are specifically things like toe point, line, flexability, elegance, which are Sashas best traits. Anyway Shizukas Turandot is a mesmorizing program and extremely artistic. Irina isnt an artistic skater at all, but she would get huge artistic scores if she skated better since she is Irina. Also when she skates well her command of the ice and attack somewhat justifies her 2nd marks (although still inflated).

    The bottom line is Sasha would never gain enough points in PCS and non jump elements combined to compensate for her vast inferiority in jumping vs Slutskaya and Arakawa at their best, even skating clean. Sasha does not score that much higher than Slutskaya or Arakawa in spins, footwork and spirals, and PCS, regardless if one thinks she should or not. She would score alot less when it comes to jumps though. In fact at the 2005 Worlds Irina outscored Sasha in every category also, just as Shizuka did at the 2006 Olympics.


    I do agree:

    1. Shizuka was overmarked in the short program at the 2006 Olympics. Her short program was quite ordinary really. And she should have been far behind Sasha and Irina. I think this would have helped Irina more than Sasha physchologically if anything though. She was also overmarked in the short program at the 2004 Worlds (but way undermarked in the long there).

    2. Mao Asada was the best skater in the World this season. Particularly from mid season on when Irina fell off her level of the previous 15 months. And would have won the Olympics without the stupid age rule.

    3. Irina was always going to turn bomb her long program at the Olympics. Her practices were horrible and she had clearly already gone past the window of what her body could handle with the ailment which was shown in her regressing performances since December, and being at altitude made it all the worse.
    Last edited by pangtongfan; 03-10-2011 at 10:07 PM.

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    Shiz downgraded her intended combo because she was forward landing on the first lutz. She couldn't pull off that triple-triple.
    She was still much better than Kimmie. Simon Reed is insane to suggest she would place behind Kimmie. What on Earth is that man thinking?

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    Simon Reed is an idiot. He called Bobek's win over Kwan at the 95 Nationals "controversial".
    He said Kwan deserved the 95 World title even with her little girl artistry and small jumps that year. He predicted Shizuka would be placed 6th or 7th in the short program of the 2004 Worlds. He called Eldredge a threat for the World title in 1990 when he was only 18. He said Stojko losing the 98 Olympic Gold to Kulik was a controversial result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Simon Reed is an idiot. He called Bobek's win over Kwan at the 95 Nationals "controversial".
    He said Kwan deserved the 95 World title even with her little girl artistry and small jumps that year. He predicted Shizuka would be placed 6th or 7th in the short program of the 2004 Worlds. He called Eldredge a threat for the World title in 1990 when he was only 18. He said Stojko losing the 98 Olympic Gold to Kulik was a controversial result.
    Interesting person, Simon Reed. You may or may not know that he is the younger brother of the late Oliver Reed, the famour actor. Read a book a while back on so called 'hellraisers' from the acting fraternity in which 'Ollie' (as Oliver Reed was known) featured prominently!
    Last edited by oksanafan; 03-13-2011 at 12:04 AM.

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