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Thread: Top 20 skaters of all time per discipline

  1. #91
    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I hope that at least some of the answers are different in thirty years' time. It will mean that other great skaters have come along, and that the sport's best years are not behind it. On the other hand, I hope that some answers will be the same, because people like Curry and Gordeyeva/Grinkov will always be inspiring--and also because skating will always lose some aspects of excellence even as it gains others. For example, today the jumps are bigger and better, but often the blade control is less so, because people don't train in school figures.
    I understand you, Olympia. But I hope, jumps are always important, even twenty years from now. This is a sport. I remember when the skaters had to do compulsory figures. But that is true, I didn't see it, because the TV didn't show us.
    I just wanted to say, everybody wrote his subjective opinion, because we have no real aspects. How to compare Protapopov/P to Gordeeva/G? Or T/Dean and Virtue/M? Or Janet Lynn to Yuna? and so on...I agree with them, who didn't write ranking, only did lists.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Cool list, casey. Madge Syers also won the silver medal at the 1902 men's world championship, turning the sport of figure skating upside down. Herma Szabo won five world championships besides her Olympic gold medal and pair championships.

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    Re Syers, The ISU passed a rule in 1903 prohibiting ladies and gentlemen from competing against each other. It wasn't until 1906 that it reluctantly established a ladies event, which Mrs. Syers won for the first two years. Also in 1908 figure skating became the first winter sport contested in the Olympic Games in London. Ladies was won by Syers and Ulrich Salchow won the men. The ISU established the pairs discipline in 1908, which was won by Germans Anna Hubler & Heinrich Burger. The ISU also had a Special Figures event which was won by Nicolai Panin, considered to be the "father" of Russian figure skating.

  3. #93
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    If I had a time machine, I'd spend a lot of time going back to different Olympic Games, both summer and winter. Can you imagine spending 1924 going to Chamonix and Paris? I think Sonja Henie first competed in 1924, and the summer games were the famous Chariots of Fire games, with not only Liddell, Abrahams, and Jackson Scholz but also Benjamin Spock (crew gold medal), Johnny Weissmuller, and Duke Kahanamoku.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabrina View Post
    Not necessarily among the best 20, but in a class of his own!
    Please watch this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzpT8vn4ZzQ
    Haha, that was so funny! I think I had seen that in '99 but I forgot about it.

  5. #95
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    That's a pretty extensive list! I would also add to the ladies:

    Karen Magnussen

    and to the men's:

    Donald Jackson (landed the first Triple axel in competition).

  6. #96
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    I don't know much about Magnussen except what I've heard here on GS. She's kind of overshadowed in this country by Janet Lynn, her exact contemporary, who was one of America's landmark skaters. I really have to pay more attention to her. What would you say I should look for?

    Jackson I found because he actually competed a few times in his forties during the heyday of the pro competitions. Even then he had a lot going for him. It was very impressive to watch. Of course, Dick Button was very happy to do commentary for him.

  7. #97
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    Little Known Historical Facts: Skating/Skaters (1900-1926)
    *Ulrich Salchow was of Danish origin but skated for Sweden his entire skating career. He was President of the ISU from 1925-1927.
    *Gillis Grafstrom (Sweden) was an architect by profession and a “special figures” expert, inventing intricate, detailed variations of the standard compulsory figures. He was also known for the “Grafstrom spin” – a modified camel spin with a more straight-up body and bent skating leg.
    *Madge Syers (Great Britain) was also a natural gifted athlete winning awards in horseback riding, swimming and skeet shooting. She died of heart failure in 1917 at the age of 35.
    *Herma Szabo (Austria) skated in two disciplines – singles and pairs, and was the only person to win World titles in both disciplines in the same year. She won the last of her 5 World titles in 1926 when she defeated 13 year-old Sonja Henie in the freeskating, but lost the 1927 title to Henie, now 14 in 1927 in Oslo, before a panel of judges in which 3 of the 5 judges were Norwegian. The decision was so criticized, the ISU brought in the rule of one judge per country, which is still in effect today.
    *Theresa Weld Blanchard became the first American to win an Olympic medal, the bronze in Ladies singles in 1920.
    *The first Olympic Winter Games were contested in 1924 in Chamonix, France, but it was not officially designated as such until the following year. An 11 year-old Sonja Henie was among the competitors who raised eyebrows with her short skirts.

  8. #98
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    Thanks, KKonas. Madge Syers sounds remarkable. Tragic that her life was so short. I wonder what her exact illness actually was--possibly rheumatic fever or cardiomyopathy?--and whether she could have been treated for it today. She sounds like Babe Didrikson in terms of the variety of her athletic skills. Interesting: the assortment of skills, except for the skating, would have made her a contender in modern pentathlon if such a sport existed for women. (It doesn't even today, I think.) Riding, swimming, sharpshooting; I think all that's missing is running and fencing, and I bet she could have excelled in those.

  9. #99
    Custom Title Kitt's Avatar
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    I am going to have to weigh in and say that John Curry's Scheherazade is pretty fabulous in terms of lines and edges
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se19k...248E5F7CE0A501

    In fact, if I had only 3 programs to watch before I go, it would be John Curry (above), Johnny Weir's 2004 Nationals win, and Elena/Anton's Lady Caliph.

    All, simply sublime!

  10. #100
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitt View Post
    I am going to have to weigh in and say that John Curry's Scheherazade is pretty fabulous in terms of lines and edges
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se19k...248E5F7CE0A501

    In fact, if I had only 3 programs to watch before I go, it would be John Curry (above), Johnny Weir's 2004 Nationals win, and Elena/Anton's Lady Caliph.

    All, simply sublime!
    Oh my. This is why I love these "best of" threads. Someone always brings to my attention an amazing skate that was before my time. I think that had been my time as a skating fan I would have pined forever at the departure of Curry, just as I do for Michelle Kwan.

    There haven't been any skaters like John Curry since ever in any field that I can think of. I can think of many artistic skaters but only Curry would I call an artist. I suppose figure skating isn't meant to be a fine art. It's like fashion - it can be artistic but its mission is something else. So? It's still fun. Like fashion.

  11. #101
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    Thanks for finding the Curry video! Isn't it stupendous? Yes, skating's full of all sorts of hidden treasures.

    As for whether figure skating is or is not meant to be a fine art, I think every form has potential. That potential may not always be realized, but if even one person brings it to its fullest form, one has to at least concede that it could be art.

  12. #102
    she takes the audience on her journey of emotions Layfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    Thanks for finding the Curry video! Isn't it stupendous? Yes, skating's full of all sorts of hidden treasures.

    As for whether figure skating is or is not meant to be a fine art, I think every form has potential. That potential may not always be realized, but if even one person brings it to its fullest form, one has to at least concede that it could be art.
    Definitely, that is what Curry does for me: Show what skating could be. I wish there were more forums for skaters these days to do that. There just a handful of shows and a lot of the skater in them still have one foot at least in competitive skating. There have been some wonderful show skating since Curry. Perhaps I'm a little harsh. I'd probably do well to look back at some performances especially in the heydey of professional skating. But still, there's something about Curry that goes beyond just beautiful skating, of which there is much out there. I can't explain it, not being an art expert myself.

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