Akiko Suzuki 2013-2014 Nationals
Yuna Kim 2013 Worlds
Carolina Kostner 2013 Worlds
Akiko Suzuki 2012 NHK
Carolina Kostner 2012 Worlds
Carolina Kostner 2011 Worlds
Yuna Kim 2010 Olympics
Mao Asada 2008 Worlds
Shizuka Arakawa 2006 Olympics
Irina Slutskaya 2005 Worlds
Michelle Kwan 2003 Worlds
Sarah Hughes 2002 Olympics
Michelle Kwan 2001 Worlds
Michelle Kwan 2000 Worlds
Tara Lipinski 1998 Olympics
Michelle Kwan 1998 Nationals
Chen Lu 1996 Worlds
Midori Ito 1990 Worlds
Katarina Witt 1988 Olympics
If I would have had anyone ahead of Ito in the short it would have been Yuka Sato who gave a beautiful and very undermarked performance (7th). I do agree with Scott that Harding was undermarked in the short though. I dont know about putting her over Ito, but he is right she fell trying the harder combination than Ito and seemed to get no recognition for it, and to put her below Hubert (5th, overmarked, home cooking) was harsh. I think the judges maybe gave Harding no leighway though as she was missing the triple axel hard in every practice and they probably thought she was a fool to even try it in the short. Ito was hitting her triple axel much better during the week than Harding, and even she pulled it when having trouble the last day or two.
I'm equally happy with both Yamaguchi and Arakawa as Olympic champions, for different reasons. I'm glad both of them will be remembered in this indelible way. Interestingly, both Kristi and Shizuka are skaters who maintained their technical skills well into their professional careers, and they also further developed their presentation skills to become even better skaters than they had been while Olympic-eligible.
Among the other mentioned Michelle Kwan masterpieces, this is an often overlooked gem;
Also Yuna Kim Olympic LP and her Les Miserable 2013 Worlds.
and I would add Sasha Cohen 2000 Nationals SP
and her 2006 Olympic SP.
I think Shizuka as a pro really grew as a performer and artist. It is like night and day difference. As an amateur she grew into a beautiful artist by the 2004-2006 period, but still a bit bland, even though her Turandot program was moving and wonderful when she skated it well.
Like these 2:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBZdeaoRD6c (Kulovana: starting number 2 - "almost-death" sentence)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CU4k9BJf2E (Torp-Lind: no-name)
I'd have had 1.Yamaguchi; 2.Kerrigan; 3.Sato; 4.Ito; 5.Hubert; 6.Torp-Lind; 7.Kulovana; 8.Chen; 9.Harding; 10.Bonaly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkPjpGfQ0Lc She arguably has better spins and speed and footwork and jumps than Yamaguchi, except she does the loop combo. She is certainly heads and shoulders above Kerrigan. I can't even watch that Militano mess of a SP, which made Nancy even MORE wooden in her presentation.
Hmm, it was the 6.0 system, and well the lutz in the SP was the name of the game. I was surprised how long it took before Yuka Sato was taken seriously as a skater. I love this SP even more now. Do you suppose it was her body type that held her back? She had thick legs, but she was an athlete so that didn't even phase me.
Imo, before Midori Ito, Japan as a whole wasn't taken seriously in the world of FS. It took her many years of great performances to put Japan on the FS map, and Yuka probably was compared to her in terms of jumps (much lower), but not enough in terms of artistry and skating skills (especially her speed through her step sequence!). The judges probably felt they had already "been generous to Japan for accepting Ito" and labeled Yuka as the clear Number 2 for far too long... They certainly weren't enthusiastic about adding more asian skaters to the top contenders, as you could also see with Chen Lu...
-btw, love your avatar! It is only with the heart one can see clearly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. (Le Petit Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)
The Olympics were in France and I am sure Didier and the French federation were pushing hard for Bonaly, reigning European Champion, and Hubert, reigning World Junior Champion, to do well also. So when they skated reasonably well in the Albertville short, voila, inflated marks and placings.