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Thread: The Powerhouses of Women's Skating

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    The Powerhouses of Women's Skating

    When people think women's skating there's a tendency (IMO) to think of slight, graceful ballerinas like Sasha Cohen. However, they aren't the only kind and I think sometimes people forget this when talking about a girl's weight. There are the flipside, the powerhouses: Strong, powerful athletic skaters. Midori Ito, Tonya Harding, and Irina Slutskaya were probably the three best examples. Who would you consider a powerhouse in women's skating.

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    Mae Berenice Meite is really powerful and athletic

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    Surya Bonaly. I think you should define "powerhouse." Sasha is the antithesis of the ladies you mention who were really known for being powerful jumpers. If there are two types of ladies, one would be the athletes, and the other would be the artists. Sometimes you get the two in one.

    Jumpers like Yamaguchi-who really was not all that graceful even when she won her 92 Oly gold, truly became an artist after a few years with SOI. And she kept her jumps. Kristi could do it all, even pairs. She was a very hard driving competitor. MK was a good consistent jumper. I think she was not pushed by Frank early on to do a more difficult 3x3. I think she was told why do more since you are winning? If it ain't broke was maybe his attitude, and when she was in her teens, Frank and Lori made her work on line, flexibility, nuances. She did plateau at both. Irina was a jumper-gawky, plodding crossovers initially. Eventually she was beating MK because she outjumped her (no one cared about rotations, edge calls then) and Irina worked very hard to get a more elegant, polished look on the ice. Michelle, either could not or would not up the ante against Irina by 2001-2002. Her favorite status helped her a bit when she needed it.

    Surya Bonaly had the awful cross overs, plodding along, and really was marked for jumps, biellmans etc. She had a powerful look. I find it interesting she clearly inspired Mae. I think she has more finesse than Surya, but I'd be surprised if Surya wasn't one of her heros. I like that France has diversity in ladies.

    I think Dorothy was a powerful skater, not a slender Ballerina like Peggy. If you go back, you see that we had tall, fullfigured skaters in the United States, when Europeans and North Americans dominated. Triple jump combos changed everything.Kat Witt won in Calgary in 1988. I thought Debi was better, and also tiny Canadian Liz Manley. Debi lost her nerve. Her body type then was better suited to triple jumps and she was p[owerful as well. Liz Manley was very fast, and her free skate was awesome I thought. Tiny, but powerful.

    I do not know who would be considered powerful of all the current ladies. I think Grace can be when she is skating to music that lets her loose. I am sad she just dumped an SP that really showed she was an all around great athlete, and complete skater. I think Ashley is a powerful skater when she is feeling good. I do not think her current LP shows that off, but her SP does, and certainly, her LPs from last two seasons showed she has the power we often saw with Michelle Kwan. I find Ashley as good as Michelle in many performances, though she took much longer to grow into her consistency.

    I think that today's ladies have it tough. Mao Asada looks and skates often like a delicate butterfly, yet she tries 3as and often lands them. Her body doesn't look muscular. It is intriguing to me, as Midori, Tonya had very powerful thighs. Today's ladies must look slender. The Asian body is preferred, and most of our World Champions for years have come from Asia. Caro got lucky that YuNa wasn't there and Mao was in the middle of re-working her jump technique. So Caro was a fluke, I guess. She could not win against the revived 2013 YuNa.

    Well, if you explain what powerful means to you, I think more will respond. It is a very generic word that could mean different things to different skate fans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    Surya Bonaly. I think you should define "powerhouse." Sasha is the antithesis of the ladies you mention who were really known for being powerful jumpers. If there are two types of ladies, one would be the athletes, and the other would be the artists. Sometimes you get the two in one.

    Jumpers like Yamaguchi-who really was not all that graceful even when she won her 92 Oly gold, truly became an artist after a few years with SOI. And she kept her jumps. Kristi could do it all, even pairs. She was a very hard driving competitor. MK was a good consistent jumper. I think she was not pushed by Frank early on to do a more difficult 3x3. I think she was told why do more since you are winning? If it ain't broke was maybe his attitude, and when she was in her teens, Frank and Lori made her work on line, flexibility, nuances. She did plateau at both. Irina was a jumper-gawky, plodding crossovers initially. Eventually she was beating MK because she outjumped her (no one cared about rotations, edge calls then) and Irina worked very hard to get a more elegant, polished look on the ice. Michelle, either could not or would not up the ante against Irina by 2001-2002. Her favorite status helped her a bit when she needed it.

    Surya Bonaly had the awful cross overs, plodding along, and really was marked for jumps, biellmans etc. She had a powerful look. I find it interesting she clearly inspired Mae. I think she has more finesse than Surya, but I'd be surprised if Surya wasn't one of her heros. I like that France has diversity in ladies.

    I think Dorothy was a powerful skater, not a slender Ballerina like Peggy. If you go back, you see that we had tall, fullfigured skaters in the United States, when Europeans and North Americans dominated. Triple jump combos changed everything.Kat Witt won in Calgary in 1988. I thought Debi was better, and also tiny Canadian Liz Manley. Debi lost her nerve. Her body type then was better suited to triple jumps and she was p[owerful as well. Liz Manley was very fast, and her free skate was awesome I thought. Tiny, but powerful.

    I do not know who would be considered powerful of all the current ladies. I think Grace can be when she is skating to music that lets her loose. I am sad she just dumped an SP that really showed she was an all around great athlete, and complete skater. I think Ashley is a powerful skater when she is feeling good. I do not think her current LP shows that off, but her SP does, and certainly, her LPs from last two seasons showed she has the power we often saw with Michelle Kwan. I find Ashley as good as Michelle in many performances, though she took much longer to grow into her consistency.

    I think that today's ladies have it tough. Mao Asada looks and skates often like a delicate butterfly, yet she tries 3as and often lands them. Her body doesn't look muscular. It is intriguing to me, as Midori, Tonya had very powerful thighs. Today's ladies must look slender. The Asian body is preferred, and most of our World Champions for years have come from Asia. Caro got lucky that YuNa wasn't there and Mao was in the middle of re-working her jump technique. So Caro was a fluke, I guess. She could not win against the revived 2013 YuNa.

    Well, if you explain what powerful means to you, I think more will respond. It is a very generic word that could mean different things to different skate fans.
    Quite the list. I do think of Surya Bonaly when I saw Mae. I agree Mae is more refined and has better skating skills.

    What defines a powerful skater? To me, speed and flow across the ice and power and athleticism. Skaters can be both powerful and artistic. Anna Rechnio comes to mind. She had great speed and flow across the ice, but also had a good sense of style and elegance.

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    Rochette certainly comes to mind with her attack and maturity. Her 3F was really indicative of her as a skater.

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    I think I am a Joannie uber. I always loved her sophistication. Had she been more consistent in comp. then she would have been the bomb for me. What she did in Vancouver was superhuman. I really miss her, and I did not think Canada would have someone amazing fore a while. Along came Osmond, a true performer who makes it look fun and easy. I really hope she will be all together for her Nationals and Olys. I can't really compare them as athletes, but I love watching both. I hope Osmond will keep her confidence, and become a complete skater unafraid to compete at highest levels. It would be awesome to see a Canadian Lady produce a WC after ? how many years?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianSkaterGuy View Post
    Rochette certainly comes to mind with her attack and maturity. Her 3F was really indicative of her as a skater.
    Yup, definitely I'd include Joannie. I loved how she'd go into her jumps at full speed, no telegraphing or holding back.

    Quote Originally Posted by skateluvr View Post
    I think I am a Joannie uber. I always loved her sophistication. Had she been more consistent in comp. then she would have been the bomb for me. What she did in Vancouver was superhuman. I really miss her, and I did not think Canada would have someone amazing fore a while. Along came Osmond, a true performer who makes it look fun and easy. I really hope she will be all together for her Nationals and Olys. I can't really compare them as athletes, but I love watching both. I hope Osmond will keep her confidence, and become a complete skater unafraid to compete at highest levels. It would be awesome to see a Canadian Lady produce a WC after ? how many years?
    I am too, I miss her so much! I really wanted her to come back for Sochi! What she did in Vancouver was AMAZING! I still don't know how she did it. It's been since Karen Magnusson that a Canadian woman won a world title, but I think Osmond can. She is still young so has time. Joannie was a late bloomer but when she bloomed she was amazing and her sophistication really added to the speed and power, it was a beautiful package.

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    Joannie was the first of the 2000-2010 skaters to come to mind for me. I also think Ashley's skating is similar in it's attack. I enjoy watching this powerful kind of skating. But I also like the ballerina types. It's what makes the sport so interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by desertskates View Post
    Joannie was the first of the 2000-2010 skaters to come to mind for me. I also think Ashley's skating is similar in it's attack. I enjoy watching this powerful kind of skating. But I also like the ballerina types. It's what makes the sport so interesting.
    For sure, it's the diversity that makes skating so fun the athletes vs the artist vs those who have both. No one type of skating is the real kind, both have their place. That's why I enjoyed the rivalry of Michelle and Irina, two different styles, two great skaters. Skating is a combination of athleticism and artistry.

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    Some powerful skaters- and by this I take you to mean not wispy ballerina small bones but more muscular, stocky, larger legs, and also great jumpers- Midori, Tonya, Liz Manley for sure, Debi Thomas, Surya, Emily Hughes, Rachel Flatt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wordsworthgirl View Post
    Some powerful skaters- and by this I take you to mean not wispy ballerina small bones but more muscular, stocky, larger legs, and also great jumpers- Midori, Tonya, Liz Manley for sure, Debi Thomas, Surya, Emily Hughes, Rachel Flatt.
    Yup, pretty much. Those are all great examples. Midori and Tonya are always mentioned when the commentators talk about great jumping.

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    +younger: Gracie, Junior Tuk, Julia - in terms of style in strength

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    Quote Originally Posted by bebevia View Post
    +younger: Gracie, Junior Tuk, Julia - in terms of style in strength
    I disagree with Julia.

    Powerfull was Denise Bielmann...

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    Midori Ito. Tonya Harding. Yuna ..... (For once I agree with plushyfan ). I think Julia's more like Sasha Cohen and Mao. The delicate soft balletic type.

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    Obviously Tonya, Irina and Midori and also Mae Bernice Meite and Yretha silete are really powerful girls! Courtney Hicks as well, she may not be the most refined but she has a tonne of power. I don't really think of Yuna as a power house skater, she has power no doubt but her style is softer than the other ladies mentioned, I guess it depends on your definition. I agree about Liz Manley as well, what a powerful skater!!

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