Best skaters of the quad from 1995-1998 until 2011-2014
I noticed this topic today on another forum. I thought it was an interesting one. Who would be your picks for best skaters of the quadrennial for each quad from 1995-1998 until today. Here would be my choices.
1995-1998: pairs- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, men- Stojko, dance- Gritschuk & Platov, ladies- Lipinski
1999-2002: pairs- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, men- Yagudin, dance- Anissina & Peizerat, ladies- Slutskaya
2003-2006: pairs- Totmianina & Marinin, men- Plushenko, dance- Navka & Kostomarov, ladies- Arakawa or Cohen
2007-2010: pairs- Shen & Zhao, men- vacant, dance- Virtue & Moir, ladies- Kim
2011-2014: pairs- Volosozhar & Trankov, men- Hanyu, dance- Davis & White, ladies- Kim
Where I am guessing we will see some disagreements:
1995-1998 pairs: there will probably be a variety of choices from Kazahkova & Dmitriev, Shishkova & Naumov, Woetzel & Steuer, Eltsova & Bushkov as well.
1995-1998 ladies: will probably be split between Lipinski and Kwan with the odd Chen choice.
1999-2002 ladies: will probably be split between Slutskaya and Kwan.
2003-2006 pairs: will probably be a few that go with Shen & Zhao.
2003-2006 dance: will probably be some who go with anyone but Navka & Kostomarov.
2003-2006 ladies: will probably be some who pick Arakawa, some who pick Cohen, some who pick Slutskaya.
2007-2010 and 2011-2014 pairs: Savchenko & Szolkowy will probably get some picks for both quads.
2007-2010 mens: god knows who people will pick here, probably a bunch of different choices.
2011-2014 ladies: some will probably pick Kostner or Asada as well.
2011-2014 men: picks will probably be split between Hanyu and Chan.
Since I watch most men, I will put them only
1995-1998: men- Stojko
1999-2002: men- Yagudin
2003-2006: men- Plushenko
2011-2014: men- Hanyu, honorable mention: Chan
1995-1998: pairs: Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze; men: Elvis Stojko, dance: Gritschuk/Platov; ladies: Michelle Kwan
1999-2002: pairs: Berezhnaya/Sikharulidze; men: Alexei Yagudin; dance: Anissina/Peizerat; ladies: Michelle Kwan
2003-2006: pairs: Totmianina/Marinin; men: Stephane Lambiel, dance: Navka/Kostomarov, ladies: Sasha Cohen
2007-2010: pairs: Savchenko/Szolkowy; men: Daisuke Takahashi; dance: Virtue/Moir, ladies: Yu-Na Kim
2011-2014: pairs: Savchenko/Szolkowy; men: Patrick Chan; dance: Davis/White, ladies: Carolina Kostner
-I'm taking into account not only results, but also quality of skating, choreography, etc
-the hardest slot to choose overall were the men from 2007-2010. Lysacek won the OGM and 2009 Worlds, but the actual quality of his skating was VERY weak in comparison to his competitors. Stephane Lambiel had moments of brilliance (Poeta at 2007 Worlds), but he sat out in 2008-2009 and had some very poor skates (pretty much almost everything in 2007-2008) and only placed on the world podium once in the period. Buttle won 2008 Worlds but was extremely inconsistent and retired in 2008. In the end I chose Daisuke Takahashi, both for the high quality of his skating (Eye, La Strada and Cyberswan were all masterpieces) and fairly strong results (World silver in 2007, World title in 2010, world record scores at 2008 4CC, Olympic bronze in 2010, etc) despite the injury that took him out for an entire season.
-second most difficult slot to choose were the ladies from 2003-2006. Arakawa has a world title and OGM with very strong skating skills and jumps, but she was extremely inconsistent and skated quite poorly most of the time. Sasha Cohen improved her basic skating during this period, had some very memorable skates (Malaguena, Romeo and Juliet) and placed on 3 World podiums during this time, but she basically gave the 2006 World title away and couldn't even win her own Nationals until Michelle Kwan didn't show up in 2006. Slutskaya had one great season (2004-2005) and half a season (fall 2005), but was ill/skated poorly outside of that. Michelle Kwan gave some very strong performances (US Nationals; 2003 Worlds) but IMO, she didn't skate enough to actually be in consideration for this spot. In the end I chose Sasha Cohen despite the lack of big titles as she was probably the most consistent of the bunch and had some very strong programs.
-Kostner from 2011-2014, because she placed on the podium at every single Worlds from 2011-2014, and consistently had the most amazing programs among all the ladies. Mao Asada's time in the wilderness during the cycle (2011-2012ish) makes her case weaker than Kostner, as well as the lack of an Olympic medal and some questionable programs (e.g. Agony Tango). Yu-Na Kim competed too little during this cycle to be in the running
-Savchenko/Szolkowy for 2011-2014 for me, partly because of their dominance at Worlds (3 World titles) as well as the much better programs both in terms of artistic merit and complexity. Close case for Volosozhar/Trankov due to their very strong results and OGM, but their programs leave much to be desired for me.
-choosing N/K from 2003-2006 was very difficult, as ice dance from that period were the Dark Ages of ice dance for me. I chose N/K based on results only.
Skating is art, if you let it be.
I'm mainly considering the best SP performance and best LP performance from a given skater/team in each quad to determine overall "best".
1995-1998: pairs- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, men- Kulik, dance- Gritschuk & Platov, ladies- Kwan
1999-2002: pairs- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, men- Yagudin, dance- Anissina & Peizerat, ladies- Kwan
2003-2006: pairs- Shen & Zhao, men- Plushenko, dance- Denkova & Staviski, ladies- Kwan
2007-2010: pairs- Shen & Zhao, men- Takahashi, dance- Virtue & Moir, ladies- Asada
2011-2014: pairs- Savchenko/Szolkowy, men- Chan, dance- Virtue & Moir, ladies- Asada
You should rename tread to "my favourite skaters of the..."
Exactly. Takahashi fan would name him as the best skater, Asada fan would name her as the best skater.
Originally Posted by Antilopa
I am a Pang & Tong fan and I dont name them as best skater of any quad and FWIW they have accomplished more than Takahahi has.
Originally Posted by lakeside
I'd choose Takahashi with no shame at all. His smoothness, command, and inventiveness are unparalleled. For the ladies, I'd have to call a tie between Asada and YuNa. For me, it isn't just preference: what Asada excels in outdoes YuNa in that area, and vice versa of course. By 2013, the same is true to me of Virtue/Moir and Davis/White, though in earlier years V/M were the clear top skaters.
Originally Posted by lakeside
My post was just a reply to Antilopa after reading some others' posts in this thread. It was not a reply to you. At least I see that your choices make some sense, not just picking your favorite skaters.
Originally Posted by pangtongfan
Well, I named Elvis Stojko, Patrick Chan, Navka/Kostomarov and Totmianina/Marinin as the best skaters of their cycles and I do NOT enjoy any of their skating at all.
The great difficulty is that for some of the quads the best skaters did not stay on for the whole period and some were very inconsistent. Ilja Kulik was outstanding, but left at 20? Lambiel was inconsistant. And in some categories , like women and Ice dance, the quality was not very high in general. Finally the allure of the OGM can influence the memerory. Shen & Zhao was not dominnt in the 2007-2010, but became the surprise Winner OGM. I have also chosen to include 1991- 1994
1991- 1994: pairs Gordeyva & Grinkov, men Browning, dance the Shulins , ladies Oksana Bajul
1995-1998: pairs-Kazahkova & Dmitriev, men- Kulik, dance- Gritschuk & Platov, ladies- Michelle Kwan
1999-2002: pairs- Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, men- Yagudin, dance- Anissina & Peizerat, ladies- Slutskaya
2003-2006: pairs- Totmianina & Marinin, men- Plushenko, dance- Navka & Kostomarov, ladies- impossible to call
2007-2010: pairs- Savchenko/Szolkowy, men- Lambiel, dance- Virtue & Moir, ladies- Kim
2011-2014: pairs- Volosozhar & Trankov, men- Hanyu, dance- Davis & White, ladies- Assada
1999-2002: pairs - Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze, men - Yagudin, dance - Anissina & Peizerat, ladies - Kwan
2003-2006: pairs - Shen & Zhao, men - Plushenko, dance- Navka & Kostomarov, ladies - Slutskaya
2007-2010: pairs - Savchenko & Szolkowy, men - toss up (could be any of Takahashi/Joubert/Lambiel/Buttle/Lysacek... I'd probably pick Takahashi, although I would have picked Joubert if not for the Olympics disaster), dance - Virtue & Moir, ladies- Kim
2011-2014: pairs - Volosozhar & Trankov, men - Chan, dance - Davis & White, ladies - Kostner
On the Ice
I have only followed the last two quads so this is my list
ladies- virtual tie for Mao Asada and Yuna Kim
one of the greatest rivals in this sports. This rivalry pushes this sport to new limits and they dominated this period. I will give the first 2 years to Mao and the last 2 years to Yuna. On first 2 years, Mao is superb technicalities when you look at her layout (triple axel plus two 3-3 jumps - triple flip-triple toe loop and triple flip-triple loop combination jumps) and also set many firsts in record book. However she started to be inconsistent on the next two years due to many factors (growth spurth, change of coach, maybe on her mom's illness, absence of coach on her side while training in Olympic season). Yuna, she has textbook jumps, but in first 2 years, she was plagued by injuries. But during last 2 years, she is so consistent and more confident in every competition. She just rewrote her own records in terms of scoring.
men - not sure of this but I will pick Daisuke Takashi. Before his injury, he has quad jump and artistry. I really like his Cyber Swan este Swan Lake (hiphop version)
pairs - Savchenko & Szolkowy from Germany
dance - Virtue & Moir from Canada
ladies - Carolina Kostner and Mao Asada.
Carolina has never been off the podium on this period. However, she only upped the difficulty of her layout starting Worlds 2013.
Mao Asada, although she has setback on first 2 seasons due to reworking her techniques. But after that she's on winning streak and during in Sochi, she was the first lady who landed 8 triple jumps (although UR on second jumps of combination) and hit level 4 in all non-jump elements. Then she set WR on Ladies SP score. Until now, she is the only lady who jumps triple axel in competition. So I will count her along Carolina on this period.
men - Patrick Chan; runner-up Yuzuru Hanyu
Patrick Chan dominated most of the competitions on this period, but not during Olys season. I found his 1st place in Worlds 2012 and 2013 questionable, but still he has the best qualities of skating skills. He still sucks on triple axel.
pairs - Volosozhar & Trankov
they are technical superb and dominated the podium. But unlike the Chinese pair in previous quad, I didn't find myself enjoying watch them. (I don't know why)
dance - Davis & White
Men: Stojko. Unlucky that injury lost him the Olympic title, but he accomplished more than Kulik overall.
Ladies: Kwan. She might not have won OGM but she was a force throughout the quad, while Tara was only a factor by the end of it (and even then Kwan won at least half their engagements, iirc). Yeah, it's not Tara's fault--she was too young in the beginning--but I can't give her the quad overall with Michelle around.
Pairs: Not sure. Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze or Kazakova & Dmitriev
Dance: Didn't follow, but Gritschuk and Platov is obvious.
Men: Yagudin pretty definitively by the end, though it was closer than it looked on paper. (though, just to compare with the Tara example above, I might give it to Plushenko had he won Salt Lake. Because he was a threat throughout the quad, even if he didn't start winning internationally until later)
Ladies: Slutskaya by a hair. Olympic silver (should have been gold?) + GPF titles vs. bronze and extra world title for Kwan.
Pairs: Berezhnaya & Sikharulidze (who I vastly preferred to Sale & Pelletier in Salt Lake, though I recognize that their skate had obvious mistakes)
Dance: Didn't follow again, but obvious choice of Anissina & Peizerat.
Men: Plushenko by a country mile.
Ladies: As difficult to call as men's was easy to call. I'd say Arakawa by default, but she was so up-and-down it's hard to say she dominated any quad. Kwan and Slutskaya each had a good season and a dreadful season (more dreadful for Irina, but Kwan's dreadful season came in Olympic year). Cohen was at least more consistent than Arakawa, but I can't give it to her since her Worlds results were barely better than Michelle's dreadful seasons.
Pairs: Totmianina & Marinin
Dance: Navka & Kostomarov
Men: No one? Evan's in a similar position as Arakawa except with more controversy. Takahashi was in the top five all the time and definitely my "favourite" skater who participated throughout the quad, but his results don't scream domination. Joubert fits my definition of "being a factor throughout the quad" best, but man, those Olympics...
Ladies: Kim, no question. At least men and ladies seem to alternate between easy/hard to call.
Pairs: Shen & Zhao. I will make an exception to my "must be a factor throughout the quad" rule because they were present in the first and last seasons. And they were never defeated in any competitions they entered.
Dance: Virtue & Moir
Men: Chan. Hanyu wasn't even competition for him until 2013-14, so I don't know why anyone would consider Hanyu dominant throughout the quad. And unlike, say, Joubert, a) Chan won almost everything he entered, rather than just being top three b) he didn't totally blow up in the Olympics and end up without a medal.
Ladies: Carolina by a hair. Yuna's results were as good or better, but Carolina was more present throughout the quad and Yuna did not go through the quad undefeated. The two initial years were just too disappointing for Mao, even though she ended strong (I don't even consider the Olympics result too big a slight against her, because she came back so strong in the free skate).
Pairs: Volosozhar & Trankov. They got to the top quickly and basically stayed there.
Dance: Davis & White
How do you define "best skater"?
For example, I wouldn't consider Plushenko the best overall skater from 2003-2006 (I'd probably say Lambiel or Joubert were a better skater if all of them skated cleanly), but I would consider him without a doubt most consistent skater/jumper with the best results.