It's undeniable that both Kristi Yamaguchi and Michelle Kwan have proved themselves to be great champions. But who, when at her best, was better?
I'm not asking for a career comparison, although that would be interesting with Kristi having the Olympic gold medal while Michelle has more titles and longevity on her side. I'm asking who has come closer to sheer perfection, even if it was in a single performance.
Personally, I think it's very close, but I gotta go with Kristi. I recently watched Kristi's Olympic performance, and although she had mistakes (fall on loop, doubled salchow), her artistry was just amazing. She had more pizazz and more of a "snap" in her skating, which I find more exciting and interesting than Michelle's lyric style, which can border on boring at times. Also, Kristi was able to master the triple lutz-triple toe combination, which is significantly more difficult than anything Michelle has done technically.
In Michelle's favor, she was probably a bit more consistent in her jumps, and she never really had problems with one particular jump that Kristi constantly had with her triple salchow. Still, I think Kristi's very best (think her performance at the Nationals in '02) would still beat Michelle at her best (Salome? Lyra Angelica? '04 Nationals?).
What do you guys think? By the way, I picked Kristi and Michelle, because I think they've combined technical difficulty and wonderful artistry better than anybody else (at least not since '88, when I started watching skating). If you want to talk about someone else, feel free.