Sounds like fun, Layfan! Definitely add Alissa's spins.
Sounds like fun, Layfan! Definitely add Alissa's spins.
No one will ever surpass Kwan for me. She was the most musical skater I have ever seen. She skated with pure joy.
Well if you combine Midori's jumps, Michelle's Consistency,Yuna's speed, Sasha's flexibility, Ruh's spins, and Lu Chen's choreography that would be the perfect female skater in my opinion.
Here is an interesting article that sheds some light on both Yuna's athletic as well as aesthetic qualities. It has to do with her body ratios:
"Standing 164 cm tall and weighing 47 kg, Kim's lower body from waist to the ankle bone measures 96 cm, almost double the length of her torso, which is 50 cm. Fashion stylist Kim Seong-il said, "With normal people, if the ratio of the upper and the lower body is 4.5:5.5, we consider them long-legged. Because of her long legs, Kim's jumps look bigger and more elegant."
If an upper-to-lower body ratio of 4.5:5.5 is considered long-legged, then Yuna, at around 3.5:6.5, has the "body proportions of a fashion model". There are very few women who are 5' 5" (164 cm) with such elongated proportions. The athletic point that the "fashion stylist" (above) misses, of course, is that such proportions not only make Yuna's jumps "look" bigger, but they provide the leverage to make them actually bigger, higher, wider. This is one of the key ingredients to the flight that she gets, for example, on her 3-3 combos.
"Her long and slender arms, which measure 68 cm, also help boost her expression grade. Dr Chung Jae-young at Jelim Plastic Surgery Clinic said, "Normally, the length of your arms stretched out matches your height. But for Kim, the length of both arms plus her shoulder width, which is 46cm, is almost 180 cm. Her arms are very long." That makes small arm movements look softer and more fluid."
We've known intuitively that something of the sort was probably the case (many posters have noted her gazelle-like limbs). And, of course, musicality and training are a large part of what individuates Yuna's style of movment. This commentary, however, clearly quantifies one physical aspect of why Yuna's movements seem more than ordinarily graceful, elegant, and lovely, and almost impossible to mistake for any other skater.
Another skater who stands out in terms of physique, who is also marked by elongated proportions, is Carolina. But Caro is both slightly taller and heavier than Yuna, which makes her seem more statuesque and Juno-esque, and these physical qualities are quite clearly reflected in her own style of movement.
If I were to draw an analogy to automobiles (being a car fan), Caro moves with the massive ease and self-assurance of a Maybach, and can build terrific speed and momentum on straights and open terrain, which is what the vehicle is built for. Despite her Italian nationality, I see something essentially Teutonic in her style. Yuna, somewhat ironically, is more like a Ferrari, smaller, and nimble, supple and sinuous in its movements, with hints of a more organic sensuality.
You using the word "statuesque" reminded me of a US commentator using that word for Lenka Kulovana in 1993:
Like Kim Yu-Na and Carolina Kostner, she's tall with long legs and arms, and uses those to make the maximum out of every move. Sure, technically, 2x3T; 2x3S and 2x2A isn't mindbobbling, but I always had a soft spot for her sheer elegance. Look at how well she uses her arms and hands throughout the entire program.
Oh, and about your car allegory: Carolina is from South Tyrol, which is very different in most regards to the rest of Italy: The majority of the population is of Austro-Bavarian heritage and speaks German. She trains in Oberstdorf, Germany, with a German Coach. So from her upbringing, one could say she's closer to a Maybach than a Ferrari... Let's agree on a Lamborghini - Italian, but owned and influenced by Audi!
Oh, and... I'm NOT saying Lenka Kulovana is anything like a Škoda!
Also, you are a treasure trove of knowledge of some interesting Central European skaters who, sadly, are not very well-remembered, particularly in America. This is my first viewing of this quite lovely (and statuesque ) Czech skater.
(And I must agree: Lenka is NOT a Skoda, as she is much too elegant a skater for that; although I understand that Skodas are a lot better than they used to be. At least they were never as bad as the Soviet-era Ladas. )
zSasha was more musical because she could do much more with body positions. Ssasha was very much the artistic skater, but her falls marred the impression.
Akiko Suzuki is more musical than kwan, and I am a Kwan fan, esp of her 1996-2001 period. And then Tosca was really powerful and great. She made more effort before 2002 to skate with nuances. After that defeat and losing her edge, she worked to get the jumps in. There really were very little transitions, fancy footwork even in her 2003 win with Aranjuez. I used to get exasperated at the way she ride a long edge into the lutz and turn robotically and then jump. It was like "execute, Michelle' was on her forehead.
I suppose I missed a great many exhibition programs with Tom Collins where she was more musical than her comp. programs. As she got older, she kind of lost the musicality, I thought.
But outgoing, joyous, heart on her sleeve and wonderfully consistent are a great package, and always lovely with beautiful costumes. I think Akiko, Ashley, Caro and Mao are wonderfully musical skaters. Osmund may be the most musical/versatile of all of them. Rare to have someone dance that well and do triple jumps as well. So hope she is healing-love that girl.
Kwan was overrated, the only good thing about her was her spirals.
Carolina is the closest had her jumps been more reliable in the big events
she has speed, jumps and a body type ideal for both presenting herself and long stroking on the ice
Kostner is perfect for galas at least
Saying Kostner is the closest if her jumps had been more reliable is like saying Sasha is the female skater who has everything, except for the whole lack of consistency thing.
You're actually suggesting Carolina is closest to being the female skater who has everything... more than Michelle Kwan....
Although, tbh, I'm disappointed you didn't suggest someone even more ludicrous like Gold.