For me it is:
1) Michelle Kwan 1998 Nationals
2) Midori Ito 1990 Worlds
3) Akiko Suzuki 2012 NHK
4) Yu-Na Kim 2010 Olympics
5) Carolina Kostner 2012 Worlds
I am only ranking from the triple jump era, because I haven't seen enough of the free skates from the earlier eras. So here is my list, with comments:
1. Kwan-Lyra Angelica, 1998 US Nationals (transcendent; she caught lightning in a bottle)
2. Kwan-The Red Violin, 2000 Worlds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWpOfaDZW7M (on a par technically with anything being done currently and better than most if not all, artistically. I love the slight hesitation before she changes the edge on the spiral)
3. Ito-Scheherazade-1989(!) NHK Trophy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hupxBUve6Q (The best ladies technical performance of all time happened 24 years ago)
4. Kwan-Tosca, 2004 US Nationals (skated with a passion not seen by anyone before or since)
5. Tie: Kwan, Salome, 1996 Worlds (where it all began)/Concierto de Aranjuez, 2003 Worlds (stunning performance won Michelle her 5th World Title)
6. Kim, Gershwin Concerto, 2010 Olympics (she held up under extreme pressure to skate a clean program)
7. Slutskaya-2005 Worlds (Slute's best skate ever gave her a clear win at Worlds)
8. Arakawa-Turandot-2004 Worlds (Shizuka came out of nowhere to win Worlds with an impressive jumping display and an unreal Ina Bauer; she would win the Olympics with the same music but a less impressive skate)
9. Asada-2010 Worlds, Bells of Moscow (her best performance, both artistically and technically, of this program)
10. Kim, Les Miserables, 2013 Worlds (it left me cold, but it was undeniably perfect technically)
For 1989 or any time this was a sublime program. My only wish is that instead of a 2A she had done a 3S or any other non-3T triple at the very end (she was certainly capable of it) for that rare 8-triple performance.
Originally Posted by jenaj
I loved Maria Butyrskaia's program in the time she became world champion. I always loved her skating, though her jumping tecknique was not perfect. Her artistry was simply beautiful. I also liked Saha Cohen, but I have problems choosing one program. Now I like Julia...
I award my personal medals as follows:
Gold---Michelle '98 nationals
Silver---Sasha '03 Skate America (was in the audience, it was fab!)
Bronze---Yuna '13 Worlds
And if we're doing this in the US, there's a pewter. That would go to Ashley's Black Swan at the '12 worlds.
Sometimes bad skating happens to good people...
Was this in Reading,PA? I was there too, but I don't recall her performance. I do remember Jenny Kirk falling over and over and over again on her lutz in the warm-up. She just couldn't do it. Then the music started, and bam, she nailed it and went clean. It was early COP and Sasha was COP queen with TAT, but I think Jenny won that night.
Originally Posted by desertskates
That's the one! I was taking advantage of visiting the fam in PA to catch the dance and ladies' long. While Jenny really impressed me, it was Sasha's evening, imho. Something almost intangible about her program grabbed me, and it was confirmed in my head when I watched it on tv the next day. Here's a link:
I sat on the end where she did the layback and it was ridiculously perfect.
An enjoyable event all around
ISU - yeah, well, what are YOU gonna do about it?
Katarina Witt 1987 WC Maria/West Side Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLiJlOMdylg (after having lost the WC last year to Debi Thomas, she came to the US and had to skate right after Thomas' great performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyYStCbrD84 Thomas only made 1 slight mistake with the identical technical content and the pressure was on for Witt who skated her strongest skate ever with 5 triples. Very different to both Olympics where she didn't need the 3Lo to win)
Midori Ito 1989 NHK Sheherazade http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hupxBUve6Q (technically as awesome as her 1989 WC, but with imo better music, choreo and interpretation)
Maria Butyrskaya 1994 EC Kojiki http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POcVjSr9W9U (beautiful, classy, clean and underrated, that was before her big successes.)
Yuka Sato 1994 WC Paquita http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZD_N4FY3B0 (ok, no 3T and low jumps. and I prefered her new LP she showed at 1993 Pirouetten despite the mistakes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTSTbTxCJBU before coming back to this one. But her skating is just mindblowing. Her step sequence is so much more thrilling to me than what is being done / required today. I love her for remaining classy during and forever after Bonaly's embarrassing podium affront)
Katarina Witt 1994 World Professionals Schindler's List http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJL7cACwNdY (Lipnitskaya should have a look. Intense)
Chen Lu 1994 NHK The Last Emperor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR0qX7xhNLw (Perfect music for her. Same as when she won the WC in 95, just with a 2nd 3Lz)
Michelle Kwan 1995 SA Salomé http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...nZwD4Zozk#t=73 (Like the 1996 WC, but with a 3T3T. I'd have been ok if she had won the 96WC with that against...)
Chen Lu 1996 WC Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcT_FdX_66E (Should have clearly won in my book. Notice at the 2:40 mark: a few seconds of intensity and just goosebumps. Nowadays, they'd tell her to not "waste any time and stuff some more technical content in!" )
Tanja Szewczenko 1997 GPF Speed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dj9q7UOqwQ8 (it's the whole back story: she almost died due to a combo of viruses, couldn't skate for over a year and wasn't expected to ever come back. and oh boy, she did. that brought tears to the eyes of the commentators - and me!)
Chen Lu 1998 OG Butterfly Lovers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYzxIjEewuk (the peak of LuLu's artistry. So delicate and yet feisty to fight to come back and even try a 3T3T at the very end - delusional in the best of ways! )
Maria Butyrskaya 1999 WC Otonal http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYvVzNZNE4E (talk about mature woman skating! World Champion!)
Vanessa Gusmeroli 2000 EC Legends of the Fall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS2N76XOqMw (the perfect performance in her best season. lol on the us commentator taking offense to a 5.5 before his co-commentator subtly slips in that it was the US judge! )
Yuka Sato 2000 Stars On Ice Take My Hand by Dido http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCuC4OGsgj8 (just glorious! 6 years after retiring, still 3Lo, 3T, 3S and 2A, and in addition a sense of freedom and true happiness)
Kim Yu-Na 2007 CoC Miss Saigon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BIT_fTeQaY (perfect jumps, incl. a 3Lo. I thought Miss Saigon suited her perfectly, up until I saw...)
Kim Yu-Na 2011 WC Arirang - Homage to Korea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHqwxLU4mIc (not perfect jumps, but what a sublime idea for the theme: Arirang is a traditional Korean song that's played as the National Anthem when South and North Korea march in as 1 team. Shame on Orser for squealing it to the press after their split. whatever went on between the 2, that was just not classy at all and I lost most of my respect for him)
Yukari Nakano 2008 WC Capriccio Espagnol http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeSwUNLqFkE (probably the origin story of why I have this trauma of thinking jumps should get downgraded more often! An electrifying performance after all her opponents stumbled their way through their programs, incl. a 3A. It was underrotated, and back then, there was no differentiation between < and <<, so that meant 2A. She ended up 4th. All the other jumps were clean -incl her huge wrap on F and Lz- and the spins were great)
Alissa Czisny 2011 NC Winter into Spring http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8gvqVM3fh0 (love the music, elegance and spins! clean on all jumps. imo this was her best ever performance)
Sarah Meier 2011 EC Love in the time of Cholera http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9akOqp9fKc (plagued by injury, she only came to the 2011 EC because they were in Switzerland, to say "goodbye" to her fans. She didn't think she could medal. She won. Watch to the very end of the vid, her reaction to the marks and then to the placement, and tell me you didn't choke up!)
Akiko Suzuki 2012 NHK "O" http://4.hidemyass.com/ip-1/encoded/...YVVNZ0ZPY2c%3D (my all-time favorite musical arrangement and choreography)
Kim Yu-Na 2013 WC Les Misérables http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6d3XEp6mg0 (perfect. she's always impressive, but here, I also loved the musical arrangement!)
Akiko Suzuki 2013 NC Phantom of the Opera http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVgLvbzDQsM (just perfect. the silent parts in the middle best showcase how delicate she's become despite her strong technique)
This was one of Jenny Kirk's all-time great performances, and I remember there was a lot of discussion on Internet forums about the outcome. Sasha had one slight double-footed jump landing and a bobble on her closing combination spin. But the quality of Sasha's overall skating was far ahead of the field on the GP circuit that year. There was really no catching her, even if the judges had been more modest in PCSs and GOEs.
Originally Posted by LiamForeman
Here's Sasha, with gushing commentary fromDick and Peggy. Jenny's wonderful performance does not seem to be available on You Tube at the moment.
she takes the audience on her journey of emotions
Thanks for sharing! Now I really want to find that competition. Also, you saw Midori live in 88? How awesome.
Originally Posted by LiamForeman
This is a hard one, as there are so many to choose from. I will only say Ito of 88-90 was decades ahead of her time technically, and Janet Lynn in the early 70s was decades ahead of her time artistically. Kim of Vancouver will stand out as the highest level of COP perfection and skating for decades to come perhaps too.
OK with some more thought mine are:
1. Sandy Lenz 1980 Olympics LP
2. Midori Ito 1989 NHK LP
3. Yu Na Kim 2010 Olympics LP
4. Yu Na Kim 2013 Worlds LP
5. Caryn Kadavy 1987 Worlds LP
6. Michelle Kwan 2000 Worlds LP
7. Irina Slutskaya 2005 Worlds LP
8. Akiko Suzuki 2008 Nationals LP
9. Mao Asada 2007 Grand Prix final LP
10. Shizuka Arakawa 2004 Worlds LP
My phone autocorrects "Yuna" to "Tuna" (Sorry!)
Oh dear. It's even more difficult to narrow my favorites (not necessarily "the greatest") down to ten than with the SP list.
So I'll increase it to fifteen (which is still pretty difficult). Listed in chronological order:
- Midori Ito - "Scheherazade" FS - 1990 Worlds
- Michelle Kwan - "Salome" FS - 1996 Worlds
- Michelle Kwan - "Lyra Angelica" FS - 1998 U.S. Nationals
- Michelle Kwan - "Tosca" FS - 2004 U.S. Nationals
- Sasha Cohen - "Romeo & Juliet" FS - 2006 U.S. Nationals
- Yuna Kim - "The Lark Ascending" FS - 2006 Grand Prix Final
- Yuna Kim - "Piano Concerto in F" FS - 2010 Olympics
- Ashley Wagner - "Black Swan" FS - 2012 U.S. Nationals
- Mao Asada - "Liebestraume" FS - 2012 Four Continents
- Akiko Suzuki - "Die Fledermaus" FS - 2012 Worlds
- Akiko Suzuki - "O" FS - 2012 NHK Trophy
- Carolina Kostner - "Bolero" FS - 2013 Europeans
- Zijun Li - "Sleeping Beauty" FS - 2013 Worlds
- Yuna Kim - "Les Miserables" FS - 2013 Worlds
- Akiko Suzuki - "Phantom of the Opera" FS - 2013 Japanese Nationals
♔Princess Li Zijun♔
Midori Ito 1989 Worlds LP and Lu Chen's 1995 Worlds LP.