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Thread: Peggy Fleming said (Is MK the best?)

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    As Mathman said, a lot depends on the criteria of 'greatness'. Is it OGM? World Medals? # of iconic programs? Recognition by non-skating fans?

    For me, I don't necessarily include the # of overall medals as they are associated with longevity in the sport. Very few stay in at the top for 4+ years.

    Neither Kurt nor Michele won OGM, but I don't think that anyone can say that they weren't great skaters because of that 1 lacking piece of hardware. Can one honestly say that Sarah Hughes and Tara Lipiniski were clearly better than Michele? That Urmanov will be remembered more than Kurt Browning? Of course, that's my North American view.
    There are alot of factors. I agree it certainly isnt just medal count. There are many factors besides achievements and the quality of your career record, and there are many more to a skaters career record and achievements than just an Olympic Gold. That said however for me anyway (or for alot of other people) THE greatest ever if such a title should even exist (which it arguably shouldnt, especialy in sports where there isnt a clear cut stand out like Jordan or Phelps), the title can never go to someone who failed to win the biggest event in the sport. That of course goes for not only Kwan but Kurt Browning, and anyone else who didnt win the Olympic Gold. Of course they can still be and are amongst the greatest skaters ever, just not the greatest skater ever. Olympic Gold is definitely a prerequisite for anyone to be given the label of best ever.

    It is one thing to say well Urmanov, Kulik, Hughes, and Lipinski have Olympic Golds and I wouldnt say they are better than Kwan or Browning. Well I agree they arent, but what about skaters who also dominated and won numerous Worlds, but have the Olympic Gold on top of that (or some skaters even multiple). Poor Browning doesnt even have an Olympic medal of any color which love him as I do, is an undeniable blotch on his career and legacy. Atleast Kwan has 2 Olympic medals which is quite respectable.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by heyang View Post
    For me, I don't necessarily include the # of overall medals as they are associated with longevity in the sport. Very few stay in at the top for 4+ years.
    I wouldn't weigh longevity too much because it was only possible for Michelle to stay eligible for so long because the USFSA could compensate her almost as well as professional opportunities. Not to diminish her accomplishments, but rather to say that skaters in the pre-Nacncy-Tonya era like Kristi might have won more titles had it been economically feasible to remain eligible. Had she stayed 2 more years, Kristi could have easily won everything with her jump content.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Here is my contribution to the zettabytes.

    1. Romanza 1996 Worlds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1imuQWeIi4Q

    2. Salome 1996 Worlds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKmUW8wPB0s

    3. Rachmaninov 1998 Nationals

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHfgjszz_Tk

    4. Lyra Angelica 1998 Nationals

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okPRcajUQrM

    5. East of Eden 1998 World Pro

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcYTdxyoehk

    6. Red Violin 2000 Worlds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptj_tO7tIXg

    7. Song of the Black Swan 2001 Worlds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhXa9JYtwLY

    8. Fields of Gold 2002 Olympic exhibition

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wazOhkRuySI

    9. Aranjuez 2003 Worlds

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfluAux0Sf0

    10. Tosca 2004 Nationals

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWQSoIEAxns

    Body of work.
    this is a great MK list esp for the kids that joined a few years back from Yunaverse. I think Yuna would herself say MK was a better performer, though not jumper. Yuna only out jumps Kwan and skates faster. Yuna does not have the MK body of work-never will tho she may win OGM again-but without her jumps? Sasha Cohen is far more elegant with no jumps. Sorry, but I agree with MM criterion.

  4. #19
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    I don't think one can choose a single greatest skater for several reasons: personal preference, cultural/national taste and pride, and the fact that things like jumps are always advancing. But you can make a skating pantheon in which you list the greatest skaters, plural. I think that no matter how many centuries pass, Michelle will belong in such a pantheon, just as Kurt Browning will despite lack of an Olympic medal. Everyone doesn't have to vote yes in order to qualify someone for the pantheon. YuNa will be there too, of course. I wouldn't presume to try to measure which one of those two, or Witt or Rodnina or Henie, is THE greatest of all time.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by drivingmissdaisy View Post
    I wouldn't weigh longevity too much because it was only possible for Michelle to stay eligible for so long because the USFSA could compensate her almost as well as professional opportunities. Not to diminish her accomplishments, but rather to say that skaters in the pre-Nacncy-Tonya era like Kristi might have won more titles had it been economically feasible to remain eligible. Had she stayed 2 more years, Kristi could have easily won everything with her jump content.
    People expected Kristi to atleast stay until 1994 but she chose not to after getting her Olympic Gold in 92. I think she easily could have done so, she just didnt want to. Yes she would have won anything up through and including 1994, and even 1995 atleast if she chose to go past Lillehammer, and would have been contending for gold up until 97 or 98 possibly.

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    When one thinks of the debacle of 1993 Worlds...when so many people fell that Oksana Baiul ended up the champion almost by default. Kristi could have won easily there. But she was probably tired of the stress, and as luck would have it, her pro career began just as pro competitions hit their peak, so she was able to have an interesting, lucrative, and lengthy career as a competitive skater without going through the grind of Olympic-division skating for any more time. Kristi was actually one of the older Olympic champs at about 20 or 21 (not sure where her birthday came that year), so it wasn't as if she had just nipped in and out of competition like Hughes or Lipinski, to grab the OGM during a whirlwind year or two. She had been training hard, in two disciplines in fact, for almost two decades already. And in those days, the economic burden for her family must have been a consideration. It wasn't like the Kwan era, where skaters could earn quite a lot as eligible skaters.

  7. #22
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    No one has quite matched Michelle's body of work (and this is not including her exhibitions!). The only other female skater that has come close is Lu Chen who has had a number of memorable programs throughout her career.

  8. #23
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    I love Chen but her pro career was a joke with virtually no memorable performances. She also wasnt a truly memorable artist until 1995, and the only years she combined both top level technical skating and great artistry as an amateur were 1996 and to a lesser degree 1995. So I wouldnt say her body of work was the best. She was a very good and complete skater for amateur skating standards from 92-96 I would say.

    The 1993 Worlds was actually quite a spectacular event. Many clean performances and Baiul, Bonaly, and Chen all did competitions potentially worthy of winning. There just wasnt anyone skating up to Kristi or Midoris early 90s level yet, but as a whole the event was great and I wouldnt say Baiul won by default as the judges could have easily placed either or possibly both Chen and Bonaly over her (some thought should have).

  9. #24
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    If we open it up to pro and show skating, that's a whole new ball game. That would put Scott hamilton, Kurt Browning, and Kristi Yamaguchi into the mix, for sure. Not to mention all the skaters who saw their amateur and Olympic titles as stepping stones to lucrative gigs with Ice Capades or Ice Follies.

  10. #25
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    From 1995 to 1998, Lu Chen performed several programs that has since become classics among skating programs.
    1995 The Last Emperor
    1996 Rach 2
    1998 Adios Nonino and Butterfly Lovers

    In addition, her "Spring Breeze" SP and "Take Five" programs also have their share of fans.

    In my opinion, Michelle Kwan is the only other female skater who has produced more signature competitive programs on a consecutive basis.

  11. #26
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    id like to mention a skater with same oly medals as MK and overlooked. Nancy Kerrigan has many nice skates. She didn't skate with the huge smile, but Nancy was great technically and very lovely on ice. She deserved a gold medal. Roz Sumners had many great skates as am and pro. I was watching Karen Kadavy and was amazed how beautiful her Tosca was. Karen had a stellar pro career after the whack. Elegant, refined, beautiful. We have decades of stunning We may not dominate Asia but we still have great skaters in every quadrennial, and we always will, even with MK gone into history.

  12. #27
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    Nancy won all her World and Olympic medals except the 1994 Olympics with weak performances. A sample of what I mean:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82WhHrEyfV0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiB7znMColc

    She finally got herself in shape for the 93-94 Worlds after her disaesterous Worlds result in 93, and got her act together, finally showing the skating she always should have been capable of. Then when it came to her pro career she eased right off and basically had a nothing pro career. There is a reason she isnt remembered for more than the whack and the Lillehammer controversy vs Baiul.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    I think it is possible in the U.S most consider her the best ever (but not even sure on that) but in the rest of the World I dont think so. Her lack of an Olympic Gold prevents her from having a serious claim to the title IMO.
    So many Olympic gold medalists are far from the best-ever or even among the best and so many legendary or soon-to-be legendary skaters do not have an Olympic gold medal (Browning-no Olympic medal at all!, Kwan, Lynn, Ito, Chen, Asada (probably), Takahashi (probably)) , that I don't think that should be an absolute requirement for "best ever."

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenaj View Post
    So many Olympic gold medalists are far from the best-ever or even among the best and so many legendary or soon-to-be legendary skaters do not have an Olympic gold medal (Browning-no Olympic medal at all!, Kwan, Lynn, Ito, Chen, Asada (probably), Takahashi (probably)) , that I don't think that should be an absolute requirement for "best ever."
    when i see #16 her post in this thread, it seems that poster thought this way.
    "without OGM, you can still be one the greatest skaters ever, just not the greatest skater ever. Olympic Gold is definitely a prerequisite for anyone to be given the label of best ever."

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    id like to mention a skater with same oly medals as MK and overlooked. Nancy Kerrigan has many nice skates. She didn't skate with the huge smile, but Nancy was great technically and very lovely on ice. She deserved a gold medal. Roz Sumners had many great skates as am and pro. I was watching Karen Kadavy and was amazed how beautiful her Tosca was. Karen had a stellar pro career after the whack. Elegant, refined, beautiful. We have decades of stunning We may not dominate Asia but we still have great skaters in every quadrennial, and we always will, even with MK gone into history.
    That great and all, but really, Lilehammer was a "throwaway" Olympics. Nancy has many "nice" skates, sure, but she's no Kwan. There's a reason she's overlooked: She got her two medals two years apart, and never won worlds. I say that even though we really shouldn't/can't compare skaters between eras. You can say "X was the greatest of her generation" or "Y was the greatest of the past 20 years" and such, but really, each era is different. Also, those top women of each generation have an impact on the next.

    We also have to consider the fact that Kwan skated in the generation just following figures and pre-CoP (mostly). Where figures were used as a tool to prop people up and that the best "free skaters" and the best "figures skaters" were often different people. Also, CoP has shifted the focus away from a comprehensive program that convey something into many elements connected by "transitions".

    My gut feeling is to say that: 1. Yuna 1a. Kwan... However, if we broke it down, the only place Yuna would have the edge (for me) is jumps and speed across the ice (though, Kwan wasn't a slouch at this), everything else, Kwan beats her hands down: Edges, Flow, Spirals, Extension, Carriage, Spins, etc. However, they're skating to two completely different sets of rules, and anyone who says they can say, without a doubt, how Yuna would fare in 6.0 against Kwan, and how Kwan would compare to Yuna if she has grown up with CoP and trained in that system, is completely whacked

    Kwan was the greatest of her generation (and really, her career spanned 3 quads, so it was probably two generations.) People may have burned brighter for short periods, but her star was the most consistent and consistently great.

    Yuna will probably be looked at as the greatest of her generation and she was dominant when she wanted to be, but she did take time off, and she has only won 2 world titles. Of course, her OGM and upcoming medal from Sochi (most likely Gold, barring a disaster) make up for that. Asada is a close second and we should be clear that Asada was hosed out of a sure medal at the 2006 Olympics (most likely Gold) and we always seems to overlook Mao, even though she's always there.

    At the end of the day, the competition between them is only in the message boards. There's a reason that most skaters talk about "The Greats" and not "The Greatest." They all know each of the "Greats" has some quality that is unique, and can not be duplicated. Kwan's was: Consistent Longevity + Emotional Impact.

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