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Thread: What are Yuna Kim's strongest points as a skater?

  1. #181
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    its not only people who distinguish that even skaters themselves that says alot
    I remember Leonova saying in an article saying something like " I think today everyone has a chance it was not like Kim Yuna was competing that you know who would win "
    and guess what she is back and nothing has changed, lol

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by prettykeys View Post
    Nah, nah. YuNa was pretty darn lucky. Lightning struck twice and then some. I think her rivals should just relax and go back to the standards they set for themselves in the 2011-2012 season.
    I just was skating around my local rink the other day, but by luck I did a 3L-3T. True story.

    Anyhow, for me it's about Yuna's confidence and mental toughness. I'm so impressed with her maturity off the ice as well. She's been involved in so many causes these past few years, from UNICEF ambassador to charity donations to helping Korea's Olympic bid to funding scholarships for young skaters. She's so civic minded, and I wouldn't be surprised if she eventually runs for office (and wins)

  3. #183
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    First good for you cheerio2 though you must be a pretty competitive skater to do that. As for why Yuna is superior I don't think she is that special. SHe reminds me of a smoother Yamaguchi - feminine, graceful, lyrical and few weaknesses with difficult jumps. But I am not sure she is a personality like Witt or an artist like Baiul or a big jumper like Slutskaya, Manley or Harding. She is not a spinner like Biellemen or that Swiss girl I can't remember her name right now. She is very good at these things but not overly special - what makes her outstanding is she does all very well just not excellent or super special.

  4. #184
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    I have never found Baiul that artistic. Histrionic and melodramatic maybe, but not artistic. Whatever artistry she may have had at her Olympics, quickly evaporated. Personality like Witt? YuNa has her own personality, which is just fine. I had never much been a fan of YuNa----until this season. Although there are some improvements I would like to see, I found her magical this past season. I can't think of a skater who couldn't receive the same type of criticism as you have imposed on YuNa. Take Michelle: Michelle was not a spinner like Biellmann or even Czisny; she did not have the personality of a Henie or the big jumps of Midori or..... Imo better to be quite good in all aspects rather than super special in just one or maybe two elements. YuNa has improved in some way I cannot identify since her last Olympics and I am glad she has come back so I can appreciate it. I guess my answer to the thread's question is: She seems to own the ice now and she skates fearlessly with a confident authority that is wonderful to see. OT Has she announced her music yet?

  5. #185
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    Actually, the places where Michelle and Yuna both excel is SS. Michelle in her days before injury was incredibly quiet as she stroked across the ice and carried excellent edging and speed. This excellence of basics translated into security in the other aspects to make them all very good, if not spectacular. Both skaters without glaring weaknesses for their respective times.

  6. #186
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    Actually, the places where Michelle and Yuna both excel is SS. Michelle in her days before injury was incredibly quiet as she stroked across the ice and carried excellent edging and speed. This excellence of basics translated into security in the other aspects to make them all very good, if not spectacular. Both skaters without glaring weaknesses for their respective times.
    That was my reasoning as well. What makes a strong skater is a lack of weakness. You don't have to be the absolute best or even excellent at everything. As long as you do everything well and can do it well consistently, you are ahead of the game.

  7. #187
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    But, to me they both excel(led) in skating skills over most of their major competitors (which is what I think lead(s) to the ability to be solid across the board). There are some other ladies who are/were their rivals that just don't have the same quality of basics and control (which is why I think they are/were more inconsistent)

  8. #188
    Rejoicing in the land of Kwan kwanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    But, to me they both excel(led) in skating skills over most of their major competitors (which is what I think lead(s) to the ability to be solid across the board). There are some other ladies who are/were their rivals that just don't have the same quality of basics and control (which is why I think they are/were more inconsistent)
    Agreed. Their basics were rock solid from a young age and both had reliable technique to fall back on as well. That security in their technique and the ability to rely on it and just skate is what really makes them stand out.

  9. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skater Boy View Post
    First good for you cheerio2 though you must be a pretty competitive skater to do that. As for why Yuna is superior I don't think she is that special. SHe reminds me of a smoother Yamaguchi - feminine, graceful, lyrical and few weaknesses with difficult jumps. But I am not sure she is a personality like Witt or an artist like Baiul or a big jumper like Slutskaya, Manley or Harding. She is not a spinner like Biellemen or that Swiss girl I can't remember her name right now. She is very good at these things but not overly special - what makes her outstanding is she does all very well just not excellent or super special.
    Kim is by far one of the best jumpers of all time. Easily a better jumper than Slutskaya or Manley, although I would put Slutskaya top 5 all time in jumps as well. Not a big jumper, LOL! That is funny. At worst she is the 3rd best female jumper ever after only Ito and Harding.

    As for Yamaguchi I actually agree with that comparision somewhat, except that Kim is like a modern day Yamaguchi but with WAY stronger quality jumps, and alot more speed and power overall. Her footwork is also far more complex even for the time, but alot of that is COP demands. Other than that they are quite similar in both abilities and skating style.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    But, to me they both excel(led) in skating skills over most of their major competitors (which is what I think lead(s) to the ability to be solid across the board). There are some other ladies who are/were their rivals that just don't have the same quality of basics and control (which is why I think they are/were more inconsistent)
    Agreed about Kwan's and YuNa's skating skills making such a difference. Take two of my favorite other skaters of their respective eras, Sasha Cohen and Alissa Czisny. Sasha was unrivalled in posture and graceful flexibility (as opposed to the ability to bend like a contortionist). Her skating skills weren't that great, which helped give her a lack of security and consistency in her jumps. Czisny is an even more extreme example. (After all, Sasha won several world and national medals and an Olympic silver.) Czisny is arguably the best spinner in the world among active female skaters. But her jumps is heartbreakingly inconsistent and her skating slow. Imagine what Sasha and Alissa would have achieved with Michelle's or YuNa's edging and other skills.

  11. #191
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    Quote Originally Posted by pangtongfan View Post
    Kim is by far one of the best jumpers of all time. Easily a better jumper than Slutskaya or Manley, although I would put Slutskaya top 5 all time in jumps as well. Not a big jumper, LOL! That is funny. At worst she is the 3rd best female jumper ever after only Ito and Harding.

    As for Yamaguchi I actually agree with that comparision somewhat, except that Kim is like a modern day Yamaguchi but with WAY stronger quality jumps, and alot more speed and power overall. Her footwork is also far more complex even for the time, but alot of that is COP demands. Other than that they are quite similar in both abilities and skating style.
    -IMO, you are right that Yuna is one of the small handful of the greatest jumpers of all time. When one considers her overall body of work, the aspect of jumping in which Yuna is unsurpassed is in their quality. When in her groove, her lutzes and her combinations (the 3l-3t, the 3f-3t, and the 2A-3t), for example, are like the Platonic forms of those jumps.

    Yes, they are jumps, and therefore "technical". But like the very best of industrial design, the extent to which their form follows function, all the while being right on the edge of current physical limits, makes them intoxicatingly beautiful, akin to works of art in themselves, though art is not their avowed purpose. (Although this would, in fact, fit very well Plato's teleological definition of beauty, that something is perfectly designed for, and perfectly fulfills, the purpose for which it was intended)

    While a very select number of ladies may take pride of place in other aspects, as jump trailblazers, for example, or in what we call "base value" (use of this term interchangeably with "technical difficulty" is, in my view, incorrect, as I view quality as itself a form of technical difficulty), or in having all the triples (although she did, in fact, successfully execute loops earlier in her career), Yuna's jumps, in my opinion, cannot be matched in quality, not by Midori's, not by Tonya's, and certainly not by Kristi's.

    When one considers this combination of speed and power, quality, and consistency, particularly in the most meaningful events (where it is obvious that Yuna is, to use Mathman's phrasing, out to take care of bidness , e.g. the pre-Oly '09 Worlds, the Vancouver Olympics, and the pre-Oly '13 Worlds), I am of the view that, even from the long view of history, Yuna's jumps take a back seat to no one.

    -Yuna's skating skills, with the the speed and power that underlays the finesse and control of her blade-to-ice abilities, are similarly superlative. She is both fearless and liquid simultaneously, which is part of what gives her overall skating its "wow" factor.

    -Where I partially disagree is in your saying that "other than that" Yuna and Kristi are quite similar. Merely "other than that"? In some ways, the quantities of power and speed in Kristi's jumps and skating skills are like Yuna's in a smaller font size; when the difference is of this magnitude, quantity has a quality all its own.

    -I do see, though, a certain family resemblance, from the point of view of style and attitude. There is in many quarters of modernity a certain insistence on the primacy of "experimentation", and an emotional stance of "letting it all hang out", to be equated, presumably, with "authenticity", a point of view that can ultimately be traced back to Byronic Romanticism.

    Whether by intention or (more likely) by temperament, both Yuna and Kristi recapitulate a different aesthetic lineage, one that, while not as loud and self-promoting as the neo-Romanticists, is also still very much alive today, and is most obviously demonstrated in the legions of admirers (among whom I place myself) of the Maid of Steventon, Jane Austen. This line, which places a certain emphasis on a balance and proportion between that which is genuinely felt and the discipline of reason, between overt display and subdued propriety, both stylistically as well as in sensibility, is what distinguishes Austen as an artist and her most memorable protagonists as heroines. It is also what marks both Yuna and Kristi aesthetically as skaters.

    Yuna has tried certain programs that go against this grain, e.g. 'Bond Girl' in competition, or 'Fever' in exhibition, and she has had success, but they are not, in my view, representative of her default aesthetic. They do, however, demonstrate versatility when she wants it.

    If someone tells you that the measured, Augustan tones of speech and action that mark an Anne Elliot or an Eleanor Dashwood (even Elizabeth Bennett, relative to the principles and manners of today) show them to be inhibited prudes, then you can be quite sure that someone has not been paying attention, or does not have the antennae necessary to receive the indirect and understated cycles of their quite genuine passions. This is exactly the thought that comes to mind when I hear the bleating sound bites of "leaves me cold", or "like a machine" for which those who dislike Yuna display a particular weakness, although I understand that Kristi faced critiques of that general nature as well. My silent reply is always: it is not Yuna who is cold or mechanical, it is you.

    -The other aesthetic aspect in which Yuna and Kristi show resemblance is in their innate musicality, which I believe to be among the very best, although Yuna's best comes in her eligible career while it has been argued that Kristi's best is in her incarnation as a pro. Even if one knew almost nothing about skating, anyone with an open mind would realize this immediately and intuitively after watching Yuna sing/dance her way up the pop charts, or Kristi stand out in "Dancing With the Stars".

    -Mathman created a very provocative (although partially tongue-in-cheek, I believe) thread which implied the disproportionate impact of skating skills on PCS. If I were to apply this approach a bit more expansively (although with tongue still somewhat planted by jowl), I would observe that one could consider jumps to be the most influential factor in TES, skating skills (but with a slightly weightier emphasis on speed and power) to be the sine qua non of PCS in general, and musicality to be the mistress of the 'artistic' components of PCS in particular.

    I do not think it coincidence that Yuna is among the very best at all of these things. What makes Yuna distinct is therefore this happy marriage: she is either the best in the world or among the best in the aspects that count for the most in skating today, on the one hand. On the other, she has no glaring weakness that constitutes a significant or chronic drag on her chances to win. Indeed, the areas in which she is relatively weaker, whose names are almost old friends, so often have they been cited, flexibility, toe-point, turnout et al., are those areas which could not have been better selected, if a skater had to choose for herself the least costly poisons from a competitive point of view.

    And anyone who doesn't agree is a pissant.

    (No, not really )

  12. #192
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    I love it: Kristi's jumps are like YuNa in a smaller font size. What a great figure of speech.

    You're probably right that the things in which YuNa is less strong are aspects of skating that don't doom a CoP skater. In terms of flexibility, she's a lot like her idol, Michelle Kwan, who also wasn't the world's most supple skater. (She had a practically vertical Ina Bauer.) But as they both prove, being less flexible doesn't prevent a skater from being exceedingly fluid.

  13. #193
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    These two posts pretty much sum up the situation, IMHO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye
    ...the extent to which form follows function, all the while being right on the edge of current physical limits, makes [Yuna's jumps] intoxicatingly beautiful, akin to works of art in themselves, though art is not their avowed purpose. (Although this would, in fact, fit very well Plato's teleological definition of beauty, that something is perfectly designed for, and perfectly fulfills, the purpose for which it was intended.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Ladskater
    She never falls.

  14. #194
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    My coworker, who follows FS casually and watches Olympics and Worlds, said that Kim is the only lady skater who doesn't give her a heartattack whenever she jumps. In many ways, that says it all, I think. Even the top skaters don't seem to be able to pull off the crystal smooth and speedy enterance and exit that she exhibits with every jump, and there's always this heartpounding uncertainty whenever someone is getting ready to jump -- that, personally, really pulls me away from enjoying their programs as a musical and artistic performance. There's no such problem with Yuna Kim. She doesn't telegraph her jumps and her elements seem to melt into the program, rather than outside of it.

  15. #195
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    Robeye's post #191 is a masterpiece, I don't know how it could be improved upon.

    (I can only add my feeble two cents worth: to me the grace, fluidity, speed, power, and precision Yuna displays in her skating (when she is at her best) is unmatched right now. Of course, she is not perfect, thank heaven for that because she is human, but she provides a wonderful example of how beautiful and powerful women's figure skating can be at its best.)

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