I actually liked her hair during the short years, especially the first year, when she had the pixie cut.
As to the differences in skating content during the 6.0 era, wouldn't these ladies have trained differently if CoP had been in effect? Their coaches would certainly have had a different approach. It may be that other skaters would have overtaken them, but I can't imagine that, for instance, Slutskaya would have been left in the dust by someone else. I'm fairly sure that Michelle and Sasha would have done well, but maybe I'm not the one to ask, because I'm such an ardent fan of theirs. But Michelle especially had beautiful skating skills, and those would still be valued today. Maybe her career wouldn't have been as long as it turned out to be, but I think she would have been an outstanding skater in any era.
As for Oksana, I was never a fan of her technique. I think there were many weaknesses in her jumps, and I wasn't impressed by her posture. I don't know whether those weaknesses were due to ability or to training technique. Certainly Petrenko, who trained with the same coach, had beautiful classical technique.
Also, part of the reason Michelle didn't do well under CoP was that by that time, she had the injury that curtailed her training time and jumping strength. Surely if she'd been younger and healthier when CoP came in, she would have figured out how to skate for points just as well as anyone else. As many have pointed out, Frank Carroll is especially good at understanding and making use of CoP, and he was her coach for most of her career.
Michelle skated only once under CoP judging, 2005 worlds. She got third in the short and third in the long, finishing fourth overall. So we don't have much data to appeal to in deciding how well she might have done in the new system.
As to slowly fizzling out, it is true that her chronic hip injury eventually claimed its due. Even so, she continued to land on the world podium up until 2005, nine straight times.
After Michelle retired, figure skating in the U.S. went belly up.
Ah.... this thread has been bliss. All those links to old Michelle Kwan classics.
On the camels, I actually always loved Michelle's. She got overshadowed in this respect by the emergence of Sasha Cohen and other flexibility goddesses but Michelle actually had great stretch. Her camel spin looks classic because the line between the top of her head and her toe was perfect. Even when she came out of jumps the stretch of her free leg was lovely ... and of course her change of edge spiral. Not to mention her falling leaf split jump. She wasn't as flexible in her back as others were so it gave her a bit of trouble with the lay back spin but her split leaf jump and her charlotte spiral showed off her flexibily in other ways. She always pointed her toes.
Peggy constantly said Sasha never hit a bad position and that was true but neither did Michelle.
OK, one more, then I'll stop.
Michelle at fifteen.
Edited to add: This is the sort of thing I was trying to get at in the original post.
I don't really think that Michelle Kwan killed professional skating. It's just that when we can watch competitive programs with this kind of performance values, what does pro skating bring to the table that we don't already have right before our eyes?
Its performances like this that got me hooked on skating. I really miss this kind of artistry. Ashley is very good and I wish her all the best, but if she were skating in one rink, and MK was skating in another, I know where I would be.
Chris looking for tar and feathers for the American judge.
(ref short hair, MK is way to pretty for short hair....but hey, I am a man...)
Last edited by CoyoteChris; 11-29-2012 at 10:22 PM.
Romanza-emergence of the delicate chinese beauty that she was. Never prettier-yet such a fighter. She wanted lulu's gold and got it.