I like that idea, Math, of considering what skaters did after their amateur careers. Dick Button also had a good criterion: that a great skater left skating better than it was when he/she came in. So despite the fact that Sonia Henie's skating looked old-fashioned by the 1970s, she advanced the sport in several ways, including doing more demanding jumps than ladies ever did. As a pro skater, she also made skating attractive to larger audiences, both with her films and with her live shows. Without Henie, one might argue that skating would just have been a niche sport like dressage, interesting mainly to the families of people who had the money to train for years. Similarly, Button also advanced the jumps, and then later he did a lot of impresario work as well as his commentating on TV. He increased audiences and educated them as well.
Originally Posted by Mathman