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Thread: Alexei Urmanov and Ilia Kulik

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    Alexei Urmanov and Ilia Kulik

    Because sometimes Yagudin-Plushenko gets old, and we need something less volatile (hopefully).

    Urmanov and Kulik were Russia's first two Olympic champions. Both won Olympic gold quite young, over Canadian great Elvis Stojko*. They were not extremely successful outside the Olympics, having one European title and one World medal (not gold) each.

    Urmanov continued to compete after his Olympic win, to little success. Kulik, on the other hand, took his Olympic gold and retired at the ripe old age of 21.

    Both have contributed to "quad history": Urmanov was one of the first to perform the quadruple jump, and Kulik was the first Olympic champion to perform it in his winning program. Less gloriously, for many people they were also full-time members in the "good-looking men in questionable outfits" club--a requirement for figure skating champions, surely.

    What are your thoughts on Urmanov and Kulik, how do they compare with each other, and what was their contribution to the sport?

    *Canadian curse jokes incoming, at the expense of someone not named Brian Orser for once

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    I thought Urmanov was only marginally talented. He had the skate of his life to win the OGM but got a lot of "help" from the other skaters that year. Kulik, on the other hand, was exceptional. He was fresh and innovative and still has managed to keep most of his jumps even these years later. I've seen him skate professionally quite a few times in shows and in SOI and he's still very entertaining.

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    Say no to horrendous costumes Meoima's Avatar
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    Terrible costume choices: it's a tie because both had costumes I never want to see again. Maybe Kulik edged out a bit.
    Jumping: Kulik of course.
    Funny moment: Urmanov won by triping on his out POTO costume.
    Handsomeness: Urmanov

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    Terrible costume choices: it's a tie because both had costumes I never want to see again. Maybe Kulik edged out a bit.
    Jumping: Kulik of course.
    Funny moment: Urmanov won by triping on his out POTO costume.
    Handsomeness: Urmanov
    I was wondering when you'd show up!

    For me (didn't want to further clutter up the first post with personal thoughts), Kulik had better jumps, spins, probably field moves as well... but it's Urmanov who had the charisma. For some reason, he catches my attention even on the kookiest of programs.

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    Team Russian Silver Foxes gallavich's Avatar
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    I'd have to go with Urmanov. Ilia had beautiful jumps, he was very cute...but I don't really connect with him as a performer at all. He was a bit too stiff for my liking and too reserved. Urmanov was much more exciting and charismatic. I rewatch his programs sometimes but Ilia, almost never.

    I did like Ilia in Center Stage.

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    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Urmanov looked like a prince. Elegant and charismatic. I believe he was very lucky to win the Oly gold. He wasn't a probable winner..

    Kulik was so cute, he is Aladdin for me forever. He had beautiful jumps and some ugly costumes. I was rooting for him at OG 1998. He retired too early...

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    Both were very good skaters. In those times I preferred Urmanov, as his costume was not as offensive aesthetically as Kulik's. Yes, Alexei looked like a prince...he was quite elegant. So was Ilia, but he was too "boyish" for my taste. Ilia looks much better now. His skating was so pure, so much quality in his moves. I wonder why he retired so soon. Was he injured?

    PS: What I remember is that Urmanov was quite poor/or had big problems with his training sessions due to poor conditions. He was trained by Mishin...
    Ilia was trained by Tarasova....a bit similar to Yagoudin/Plushenko.
    Last edited by Sabrina; Yesterday at 04:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Meoima View Post
    Terrible costume choices: it's a tie because both had costumes I never want to see again. Maybe Kulik edged out a bit.
    Too young to remember their skating but Ilia Kulik's giraffe costume burned into my eyes forever.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moria Polonius View Post
    Too young to remember their skating but Ilia Kulik's giraffe costume burned into my eyes forever.
    To be fair, Lambiel's costume in 2006 Olympics was worse, in my humble opinion - 3 animal species in one jacket and no relation to the music

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    FWIW, Urmanov won both his European title and the GPF (then called the "Championship Series" final) after he won his OGM. I always liked him because he found nice things to say about all parties during the hey-day of the Yags-Plush wars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moria Polonius View Post
    Too young to remember their skating but Ilia Kulik's giraffe costume burned into my eyes forever.
    A shame, because he actually had some quite good ones, especially after he turned pro. Actually, I really loved the wing costume for his Olympic SP.


    Also: MAFIA!

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    A shame, because he actually had some quite good ones, especially after he turned pro. Actually, I really loved the wing costume for his Olympic SP.


    Also: MAFIA!
    Thank God for youtube then!

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    Actually, I really loved the wing costume for his Olympic SP.
    I thought I was the only one who liked that one. I know many people think it's weird, but I thought it went nicely with the ease of his skating. Like he's floating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpiper View Post
    I thought I was the only one who liked that one. I know many people think it's weird, but I thought it went nicely with the ease of his skating. Like he's floating.
    Yes! Especially when he stepped up into that beautiful 3A-3T, as though it was effortless, as though it was no trouble at all...

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